The Deepavali festivities kicked off with pretty sparks exploding in the night sky near Little India around midnight on Tuesday, making an appropriate commemoration for the Festival of Lights. Another set of colorful explosions took place a few hours later in Yishun.
Too bad the fireworks were illegally set off.
The police confirmed to The Straits Times that two men, aged 29 and 48, have been nabbed for allegedly discharging the fireworks along Gloucester Road. According to the police, officers from Central Police Division promptly arrested the two suspects yesterday after establishing their identities through ground inquiries. Meaning the two were likely spending their Deepavali in cuffs instead of celebrating with friends and family.
Footage of the fireworks was widely shared on social media, showing fireworks shooting up from the middle of the road. There was certainly an element of danger, considering the explosions set off at a pretty low height.
Near the end of the clip, a cop car and police officers can be spotted rushing over to the scene, though there’s pretty much nothing they could do but wait for the sparkly spectacle to end.
The culprits behind the Gloucester Road fireworks might have been nabbed, but what of the folks who set discharged fireworks in the Yishun skies? Close to 3.30am on Tuesday, the sounds of exploding blasts reverberated across the neighborhood as fireworks erupted briefly.
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Fireworks at 0330H. I know I’m in Yishun. pic.twitter.com/777FrrYLTQ
— leonardgoh (@leogohtw) November 6, 2018
Dangerous Fireworks Act
Since 1972, setting off fireworks without prior permission by the authorities has been outlawed in Singapore under the Dangerous Fireworks Act. The ruling came into place not long after the country gained independence in 1965, and by 1968, the government sought to regulate the use of fireworks as it was becoming a public safety issue. This was because a third of the 150 fires that broke out during the Chinese New Year celebrations were because of fireworks — a deeply entrenched tradition involving firecrackers and rockets.
But the issue only got worse when people disregarded the rules, and by 1972, the police fielded 376 complaints about the illegal discharge of firecrackers, while two cops were attacked when they tried to prevent people from setting off firecrackers. 26 people were injured that year in fireworks-related crimes.
Now, anyone convicted of discharging dangerous fireworks can be fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed for up to two years.