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Control of fireworks

The scene of devastation in Naxxar on Thursday after a fireworks store exploded, killing two people and destroying neighbouring residences.

The scene of devastation in Naxxar on Thursday after a fireworks store exploded, killing two people and destroying neighbouring residences.

Several more lives have been shattered thanks to fireworks. This time it was a massive illegal store of explosives right in the midst of a residential neighbourhood. Again we'll have people expressing irate views on these dangers. Let's hope that the problem will not, once again, be shelved and forgotten after a few weeks. I doubt it was the only such fireworks store in the country.

The person making and storing these explosives is not the only one to blame. Also guilty are those who knew about it and said nothing, and especially those who bought the fireworks off him. Maybe it was to get the fireworks at a cheaper price. In that case it was a very expensive discount. You know who you are and yes, you have blood on your hands.

The only reason such explosives get made and stored illegally and without appropriate safety measures is that someone somewhere is prepared to buy them. Perhaps this would be one place where controls could be introduced. If we make it impossible for anyone, anywhere to launch fireworks without a paper trail for each one leading to a legitimate fireworks factory, including making the organisers personally responsible for proving the origin of every firework they launch, things might change.

Each legitimate factory would issue documentation to the police giving the total tally of all fireworks sold to each village feast or other occasion, and nobody would be permitted to launch one more firework than the papers say.

Then, a one-off amnesty so that anyone already storing such explosives will have them removed safely by professionals and hopefully it will be the last time we hear of such incidents.

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