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Explosives Inspectorate | Alert | No.108 V 1 | 13 December 2022

Members of the public injured during fireworks display

What happened?

At a recent fireworks display in NSW fireworks were projected beyond the exclusion zone into the crowd, injuring 9 people, with 3 requiring hospital treatment.

How did it happen?

  • While a Roman Candle was being fired, an unknown number of shots projected into the crowd causing injuries to 9 people including a number of children. 
  • The fireworks contractor reports that it appears that the Roman Candle, identified as CN035 38mm 8sh Crackling Tail w/Crackling Mine Candle, malfunctioned.
  • The fireworks operator immediately shut down the display and started emergency procedures for a malfunctioning product.
  • Howard and Sons Pyrotechnics has ceased the use and supply of the product until it is inspected and deemed safe for use.

Key issues

  • The exact cause is unknown and the incident is under investigation.
  • This incident demonstrates that Roman Candles can malfunction and pose a danger to people attending the display.


Fireworks contractors and operators in Queensland must ensure:

  • That appropriate exclusion zones are maintained to protect the public.
  • Products have been tested and have a valid certificate of compliance.
  • Roman Candles must be secured to prevent any side projection during firing.
  • Until the SafeWork NSW investigation is complete, fireworks product CN035 38mm 8sh Crackling Tail w/Crackling Mine Candle must not be used in Queensland.
  • That product manufactured by Liuyang Chuangmei Fireworks Manufacture Co. Ltd has a current certificate of compliance and must include certification that the fireworks have been tested and comply with the Queensland Fireworks Product Safety Code.

Investigations are ongoing and further information may be published as it becomes available. The information in this publication is what is known at the time of writing.

We issue Safety Notices to draw attention to the occurrence of a serious incident, raise awareness of risks, and prompt assessment of your existing controls.

References and further information

Authorised by Dr Snezana Bajic - Deputy Chief Inspector – Explosives

Contact: Sean Ryan, Principle Inspector Explosives , +61 7 3199 8024

Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland

Safety: This information is issued to promote safety through experience. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.