|Seized evidence from a firecracker trafficking case in the northern province of Thái Nguyên, as displayed by local police earlier this month. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Nguyên|
HÀ NỘI — In a shocking discovery, authorities in the northern province of Thái Nguyên have uncovered a widespread illegal operation involving the production, storage, transportation, and sale of homemade firecrackers among students between the ages of 12 and 16.
According to police, the students bought materials and made the firecrackers following instructions they found on the Internet. In addition to burning the firecrackers for fun, some also make large quantities of them to sell and earn money.
Lê Văn Lượng, captain of a police team in Võ Nhai District, said 13 suspects had been arrested, including four secondary students.
The police also seized more than 40kg of firecrackers and hundreds of kg of materials to make firecrackers, he said.
The students were found to make their own firecrackers which weigh up to 2kg and 10cm in diameter, he added.
The activities of making homemade firecrackers are dangerous, and could have serious consequences, he said.
Any individual illegally producing firecrackers is liable to receive an administrative sanction from the authorities or could be charged with a criminal offence, he said.
Police said three students named T.H.T, L.N.T.T and P.V.Q, studying in a secondary school in Đồng Hỷ District, Thái Nguyên Province, were arrested while transporting home-made firecrackers to sell.
The police seized 216 homemade firecrackers weighing a total of 18.5kg.
Along with the risk of insecurity and disorder, children making their own firecrackers could lead to accidents, police warned.
Early this month, D.Q.T., a 14-year-old student residing in La Hiên Commune, Võ Nhai District, was found ordering materials to make firecrackers through an e-commerce platform.
He was using a mortar to crush materials to make his firecrackers, as instructions on the Internet, when suddenly the materials exploded, causing him third-degree burns on both his hands and face.
Then he was treated at Thái Nguyên Central Hospital.
T. said he found the recipe to make firecrackers online. He ordered the ingredients and invited his two friends, D.Q.T and L.V.H, to make the firecrackers together.
The two friends were also treated in the hospital for burns to their hands, jaws and faces.
Doctor Hoàng Văn Dzung, head of the Trauma and Orthopaedics Department at the hospital, said the number of patients taken to the hospital with injuries caused by firecrackers this year increased sharply compared to the previous year.
More than 20 students were hospitalised because of injuries caused by firecrackers, he said.
According to doctors, injuries caused by firecrackers often depend on the combustion size and the firecracker's nature.
Firecrackers can cause burns, poisoning, and respiratory burns. Exploding firecrackers can cause soft tissue injuries, lacerations of the skin, multiple traumas to the brain, chest, and abdomen, and often leave many aesthetic sequels, even if there are permanent, irreparable parts such as damage to the eyes, arms and legs.
Captain Lượng said the community, schools and especially families must strengthen measures to educate their children on the consequences of making firecrackers at home.
The authorities have also been asked to strengthen the handling of malicious content, including instructions for self-made firecrackers online, in the hopes it will limit the number of occurrences. — VNS