China to regulate fireworks industry
The Chinese government is planning to strengthen safety supervision over its scattered fireworks manufacturers to reduce the rising cases of accidental fireworks explosions.
Sun Huashan, deputy director of the State Administration for the Supervision of Production Safety, told a national fireworks safety conference in Liuyang in Hunan Province that the incomplete safety supervision system in China's fireworks industry is the main reason for explosions.
From 1985 to 2003, a total of 8,448 explosions caused by fireworks took place across China, an average of 445 case per year. Though the number of cases declines each year, the annual casualty rate is climbing, said Sun.
Sun urged local authorities to pay attention to major fireworks- related accidents that kill three or more people. In 2003, though there were only 22 cases of major accidents, 249 people were killed and 404 injured.
Sun said China's fireworks industry is still in the process of regulation, which resulted in a weak safety supervision system in the whole industry. Most cases were caused by illegal manufacture or transportation or shoddy manufacture.
Sun said the Chinese government will strengthen supervision over the industry in the future, and raise the threshold for new fireworks manufacturers to enter the market.
The government will encourage small-sized fireworks manufacturers to consolidate into larger ones, and will develop the provinces of Hunan and Jiangxi and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region into three major manufacturing bases of China's fireworks industry.
At the start of the year there were a total of 7,064 fireworks companies in 26 Chinese provinces, 74 percent of which are located in Hunan, Jiangxi and Guangxi. The sales of fireworks in these places accounted for 83 percent of the national total.