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August 7, 2012

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Fireworks shot into the crowd during public display

A sports and social club has admitted putting members of the public at risk after two spectators were injured during a fireworks display in Warwickshire.

On 7 November 2011, two members of the public independently contacted Warwick District Council to advise that spectators had been put in danger during a fireworks display at Cubbington Sports and Social Club two days earlier.

The council was informed about two incidents of fireworks heading horizontally towards spectators during the event. One witness described a firework striking and exploding within a burger van. Another witness said a ‘repeater’ firework, which fires out multiple shots, flew into the crowd. Two spectators suffered minor burns during the incident.

As part of its investigation the council obtained footage of both incidents, which had been recorded on a mobile phone by a spectator. The council identified that the club had failed to manage the event in a safe manner, and hadn’t put in place appropriate health and safety control measures.

Cubbington Sports and Social Club Ltd appeared at Warwickshire Justice Centre on 2 August and pleaded guilty to breaching s3(1) of the HSWA 1974 and reg.3 of the MHSWR 1999. It was fined £5000 and ordered to pay £4353 in costs.

In mitigation, the company said it entered an early guilty plea and cooperated with the council’s investigation. It also gave assurances that all future events would be properly organised and safely managed.

Speaking after the hearing, portfolio holder for the environment at the council, Councillor Michael Coker, said: “The injuries to the two members of the public resulted from serious breaches of health and safety legislation. The incident was preventable and foreseeable, as fireworks are explosives and the associated risks are well known.”

The mobile phone footage of the incident can be seen in the video below:


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11 years ago

Bridget this is about incompetance not control. Any professional firework person would have arranged them to fly to and detonate in a known location and arranged the crowd to be in another -safe- location.
This looks like the club have bought a load of fireworks en masse and set them up themselves without understanding the risks.
Licencing won’t help, because a club laying on an organised display would probably meet the (as yet unspecified) licencing criteria.

11 years ago

Am I the only person shocked by the apparent levity with which some people in the crowd responded? Someone was actually laughing – people could have been maimed or killed. Fireworks should not be sold except under license, as with fire arms.

11 years ago

Presumably this club is an employer. See thread on the heritage railway (injured party pleaded with ORR not to prosecute)