Safety fear ends South Yorkshire fireworks display

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A huge fireworks display in South Yorkshire was cut short after burning debris and ash was blown into the crowd.

Doncaster Racecourse was all set to play host to Hallam FM’s fireworks extravaganza as part of the Sheffield-based radio station’s 40th birthday celebrations.

The display was due to take place from 8pm to 8.30pm but was stopped a few minutes after it started on health and safety grounds.

Live entertainment and fairground rides continued as planned.

Among the spectators were Star readers who had won a competition for free tickets.

A Hallam FM spokesman said Fuse Fireworks had set up the display in accordance with official guidelines and the correct distance away from spectators.

He said: “The weather was favourable, but within minutes of the display start sudden gusting winds pushed high bursting fireworks forwards towards the viewing area causing some small debris to fall within the range of the crowds.”

Organisers paused the display on the advice of qualified pyrotechnicians in the crowd, before deciding to cancel it following a wind test, he added.

Many of the thousands of visitors took to social media to express their disappointment, and concerns that the display was not safe. Some said they were hit by debris and ash.

Jody Richardson said: “It wasn’t the wind that was the problem, the fireworks were far too close to the spectators to begin with. We were showered in burning debris.”

Kerri Gillespie wrote: “Very, very disappointing evening.”

And Shanna Green said: “It was unfortunate the fireworks were cancelled 10 minutes in, but when you saw the size of the remnants being blown into the crowd, you can understand why, it would have been a completely different story if they’d have carried on and someone was burnt.”

The station spokesman urged spectators to email with comments.