February 25, 2013
Fireworks were set off amid heavy smog in Beijing on Sunday night to mark the Lantern Festival, the end to Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations and the city’s 16-day fireworks spree.
On Sunday, the average density of PM2.5 hit 300 micrograms per cubic meter in some parts of the city, up from 200 micrograms per cubic meter on Saturday night, well above the national standard of 75 micrograms per cubic meter, according to the Beijing Municipal Environment Monitoring Center.
More than 1 million people were dispatched to ensure that fireworks were used safely, according to a statement from the municipal government’s fireworks administration office.
A total of 210 people were injured in fireworks-related accidents over the past 16 days, down 23 percent year on year, it said.
A total of 370,000 cartons of fireworks were sold during the same period, down from 570,000 cartons sold during the same period last year, according to the office.
This year, local residents were allowed to set off fireworks within the Fifth Ring Road in Beijing from Feb. 9, the Lunar New Year’s Eve, to Feb. 24, the Lantern Festival, according to government rules.