Police seize illegal fireworks, hotline has 40,000 complaints (update)

With two days still to go before the New Year celebrations, several people have already been hurt in accidents involving fireworks and some 40,000 calls have been made to the firework nuisance hotline.

The hotline, set up by political party GroenLinks, monitors firework-related complaints. By law, they cannot be set off until December 31.

In Dordrecht, an apartment was destroyed by fire after children threw fireworks off a balcony and in Groningen, fire broke out in a student house after one resident put a package of fireworks on an electric stove, which had been turned on.


Police have also made seizures of illegal fireworks totalling over 54,000 kilos since October, news agency ANP said on Monday afternoon. Among the latest hauls were 352 kilos in a rented van in Sint Odiliënberg at the weekend. In Meijel, three houses had to be evacuated as police dealt with 250 kilos of explosives.

In Friesland, a man was caught loading 200 kilos of fireworks into his car – eight times the permitted amount.

In Volendam, a 12-year-old boy and his father were detained with a firework known as a Cobra 6 – said to be the loudest in Europe.

In Veldhoven, a mother, father and 16-year-old son have been picked up for fireworks offence and resisting arrest, ANP said.


Some 1,500 garden centres, DIY stores, bike shops and other outlets on Saturday opened for business in the four-day window during which fireworks can be sold to the general public.

This year sellers are hoping for better sales and advance orders are up 10% on 2012, news agency ANP reported. Sales of fireworks have fallen by around 5% a year for the past three years, reaching €65m in 2012, according to the Dutch pyrotechnic association.

Officially fireworks can only be sold for four days prior to the New Year celebrations. Fireworks can be set off between 10.00 hours on December 31 and 02.00 hours on January 1, with those who break the rules facing a €100 fine.

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