Berliner under probe for hoarding a tonne of fireworks: police

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Hanover, Germany: Exploding fireworks reflect in the water of the Maschsee lake in Hanover, central Germany, during New Years celebrations on January 1, 2016. AFP/dpa/Julian Stratenschulte

January 2, 2016
BERLIN (AFP) - German police Friday found a tonne of fireworks allegedly stashed in cellars by a Berlin resident after they were alerted by neighbours who noticed the man was unleashing an unusually large amount of pyrotechnics on New Year's Eve.

Neighbours of the 25-year-old man in the eastern Berlin suburb of Hellersdorf called in officers to investigate as he appeared to have an endless supply of fireworks, police said.

Some of the "explosions from his fireworks were so strong that windows were vibrating," police said in a statement.

Police did not find the man when they descended on his apartment, but found that his cellar was packed with fireworks.

Investigators later found that he had apparently also rented a second cellar space in the building.

In all, the man allegedly hoarded "around one tonne of legal as well as illegal pyrotechnics", police said.

Police are now investigating if he violated rules on explosives.

Firecrackers and rockets are an essential part of New Year's festivities in Germany, with individuals firing off large amounts of pyrotechnics from balconies or their lawns.

They are sold on the last three days of the year. Sales in 2014 were worth 129 million euros ($140 million).