Surrender or face arrest, cops tell fireworks handlers

Selangor-police-chief-Abdul-Samah-MatSHAH ALAM: Selangor police today issued an ultimatum to the unlicensed fireworks handler and his three assistants responsible for the fireworks display that went awry at the New Year’s Eve celebration in Klang to come forward within 24 hours or face arrest.

Selangor police chief Abdul Samah Mat said they had details of the four and will pursue them if they do not surrender to facilitate investigations.

“We know they are still around. They are probably afraid to come see us so I am giving them a chance,” he said, adding that the four were given until tomorrow to surrender.

Police are investigating the case under the Explosives Act 1957.

He said fireworks handlers need to be certified by police as well as the Mineral and Geo Science Department before they take on such jobs.

Samah said the event organiser also needed to get approval from the home ministry before the application was sent to the police, who will issue a permit for the event.

He added police will also decide what type of fireworks can be used and the duration of the show.

Samah said in this case, the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) did not apply for a permit for the show which was held at the Pandamaran Sports Complex.

Some 16 spectators suffered burns after the aerial fireworks display exploded on the ground.

Police have recorded statements from 21 people, including MPK staff and several victims.

MPK president Mohamad Yasid Bidin said the council was also conducting an internal probe into the incident.