Tue, Aug 26, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Opinions split on holding National Day fireworks

By Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporter

The National Day Celebrations Organizing Committee is to meet on Monday next week to decide whether the Double Ten National Day fireworks should be canceled this year in light of the recent spate of major disasters, including the TransAsia Airways flight that crashed in Penghu and the gas pipeline explosions in Greater Kaohsiung.

A source said that members of the committee are currently divided on the issue, but may be leaning toward canceling the fireworks show — which is to be held this year in Greater Taichung — because of the social atmosphere following the disasters.

Minister of the Interior Chen Ching-chun (陳敬純) said that he would leave the decision to the organizing committee.

However, when asked if other celebratory events would also be canceled as the government decided to do after the 921 Earthquake in 1999 and Typhoon Morakot in 2009, Chen said that, so far, he has not heard any suggestion about canceling other events.

A ministry official, who wished not to be named, said that the organizing committee usually meets in mid-September, but the date has been moved up this year because of the differing opinions on whether to hold the fireworks show.

The official said that it was Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who serves as the committee chairperson, who decided to have the meeting on Monday next week at the Legislative Yuan.

Several Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers and Greater Taichung officials have suggested canceling the fireworks show in the city following the gas explosions in Greater Kaohsiung, while others said the decision could be made at a later date.

Some officials think that the show should go on to promote tourism in Greater Taichung, sources said.

The gas explosions tore through Greater Kaohsiung’s Cianjhen (前鎮) and Lingya (苓雅) districts on July 31 and Aug. 1, killing 30 and injuring 310.

The disaster followed the crash of a TransAsia Airways flight in the outlying island county of Penghu on July 23, which killed 48 of the 58 people on board.

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