Preah Sihanouk authorities said yesterday that they have banned fireworks and sky lanterns after one of the latter blew off course and sparked a blaze that destroyed a police outpost on the beach.
Provincial Police Chief Chuon Narin said his officers had confiscated about 300 fireworks on Friday from eight shops and vendors across the province, later destroying them.
Narin said officers had been “educating” people since 2015 and warning against setting off fireworks and releasing the lanterns or paper hot air balloons.
However, he said, the time had come for action – even if at this stage offenders will not be fined but instead made to write a promise they will not play with fireworks or lanterns again.
“In a recent case, we had a tourist’s lantern drop on the roof of and destroy a beach guard post because of the wind,” Narin said. “I am taking action because it affects order and security for both locals and foreigners.”
Narin said he hoped other relevant authorities would cooperate in the efforts as he lacked the manpower to patrol province’s entire coastline at night.
“I don’t think it will affect the tourism sector,” he added.