250 tonnes of illegal fireworks seized

250 tonnes of illegal fireworks seized
The 2000 Enschede fireworks disaster. Photo: DPA
Hamburg customs officials said on Friday they had discovered 16 containers containing 250 tonnes of illegal and dangerous fireworks from China.

Officers believe that their €330,000 price tag would have multiplied into several million euros on the black market.

Rocket construction kits and large fireworks were found in 13 containers at the Hamburg port, and 3 other containers in Magdeburg. Customs officials believe the containers – addressed to two firms in Luxemburg – were shipped from China between September and December 2008.

Officials said the explosives were likely being temporarily stored in Germany, and could have posed a serious danger. If ignited, their powerful explosive force would be similar to a 2000 accident when several tonnes of fireworks destroyed an entire city district and killed 20 in the Netherlands community of Enschede.