Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department says that fireworks intended for Saturday’s cancelled Lunar New Year display have been destroyed for safety reasons.

Five tonnes of fireworks, worth HK$8.8 million, were disposed of within 30 minutes from barges near the Soko Islands early on Saturday morning.

The annual Victoria Harbour event was scrapped after 19 people died and dozens were injured in a bus crash in Tai Po last weekend.

A department spokesperson said that the fireworks could not be used elsewhere in the future, as they had already been unsealed.

fireworks hong kong cancelled
screenshot, via YouTube.

Trade Industry Council Chairperson Jason Wong has urged the government to assist shops and restaurants affected by the cancellation, according to RTHK.

The festive display – involving 29,000 pyrotechnic shells – was set to usher in the Year of the Dog on the second day of Lunar New Year. It was also cancelled in 2013, after the Lamma Island ferry disaster claimed the lives of 39 people.

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Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.