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FIREWORKS

German police seize 850kg firework stash

German police said Sunday they confiscated 850 kilos of fireworks and firecrackers from a 23-year-old man in Hamburg, ahead of New Year's festivities.

German police seize 850kg firework stash
Photo: Depositphotos

Police were tipped off by the man's neighbour that he was stockpiling a large quantity of pyrotechnics.

Officers descending on the man's home found the fireworks packed into his apartment, cellar and two vans, a police spokeswoman told national news agency DPA.

The pyrotechnics contained around 80 kilos of explosive substances — 80 times over the limit of fireworks that can be legally stored in a private home.

Fireworks and rockets are an essential part of New Year's festivities in Germany, with revellers firing off huge amounts of pyrotechnics from balconies or their lawns.

They are sold on the last three days of the year, with people in Germany spending 137 million euros ($156 million) on them last year.

But January 1 is also marked by casualty reports of individuals injured or even killed by fireworks.

On New Year's 2018, pyrotechnic mishaps left two people dead, a child injured and five people requiring amputations.

This season, several injuries have already been reported even before New Year's eve, with two people including a 14-year-old losing fingers to firecracker blasts gone wrong, while an 18-year-old was hospitalised for severe burns.

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NEW YEAR

IN PICS: Berlin brings in 2020 with fireworks and winter bathing

Berlin brought in the New Year with a dazzling display of fireworks over the Brandenburg Gate, with the Berliner Sea Dogs later taking their first icy dip of 2020.

IN PICS: Berlin brings in 2020 with fireworks and winter bathing
Revellers in Berlin were treated to a lavish fireworks display over the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa
The lavish public fireworks more than made up for this year's partial ban on the general public firing rockets. Here's a photo of the fireworks over the Brandenburg Gate. 

Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa

…and here's another photo of the display as seen over the Oberbaum Bridge. 

Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa

So many people crammed into the central celebration area that the gates were closed at 8pm for safety reasons.

Photo: Jörg Carstensen/dpa

Performers included the English boy band East 17, songwriter and DJ Kerstin Ott, pop star Frank Zander and the Swedish rock band Mando Diao.
 
Here's a video of the East 17 performance…
 
 
…and here's Mando Diao. 
 
 
A crowd dispersal vehicle from the German federal police on the ready in a street near the New Year's Eve party at the Brandenburg Gate. 
 

Photo: Christophe Gateau/dpa

After the celebrations, the streets were strewn with plastic glasses and bottles. 

Photo: Christophe Gateau/dpa

The Berlin municipal cleaning company BSR began the clean-up job early on Wednesday morning. 

Photo: Christophe Gateau/dpa

Soon afterwards the Berliner Sea Dogs gathered to take their first cold water bath of the new year. 

Happy New Year! 
 
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