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Canberra firework display blast sends spectators running  

March 18, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A barge burst into flames after a firework exploded during Canberra’s popular annual fireworks event Skyfire on Saturday night, sending spectators running and ducking for cover.

“Holy sh*t!” one spectator can be heard yelling, when a stupendous number of fireworks appear to go off simultaneously. “Oh my God!” calls another, as people run screaming.

Footage appears to show a sky full of fireworks. The Canberra Times reported that the explosion, midway through the display, occurred during Peking Duk’s song ‘Fire’.

“It appeared as though all the fireworks on one barge ignited” as sparks flew in the direction of the crowd gathered on the shores of lake at Rond Terrace, the paper reported.

Dramatic footage shows some people fleeing as screams ring out. Many wondered if the display was getting a bit more festive and spectacular than intended.

The annual Skyfire at Enlighten event, a popular attraction for tourists and locals, involves fireworks fired from pontoons and barges anchored in Lake Burley Griffin.

VisitCanberra advertised the Skyfire at Enlighten Festival: “Hit104.7 Skyfire is lighting up Lake Burley Griffin on Saturday March 16…”

The page appeared to have been removed from the VisitCanberra website yesterday, however.

Statement on Hit 104.7’s Facebook page

Pyrotechnic organisers Foti International Fireworks told ABC News yesterday it was investigating the cause of the malfunction and no-one had been injured in the incident.

Some in the crowd thought they saw fireworks flying towards them, the ABC said, but organisers said only embers landed on the grass near where the fireworks were being launched.

Bailee Parker-Phillips, who posted a video on The Canberra Times Facebook page, said the explosion shook the ground.

A barge was reportedly towed away by ACT Water Police. It remained cordoned off on Sunday morning.

Written by Peter Needham

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