THAILAND – A British tourist died after a faulty firework exploded in his face during New Year celebrations in central Pattaya. Police were notified at 12:30am and rushed to the scene.
The 51 year old man, identified by police as British citizen Gary McLaren, had serious facial injuries and was in critical condition. Despite the efforts of medical staff and emergency responders, Mr. McLaren was pronounced dead at the scene.
A large cylindrical firework was found on the ground nearby and taken as evidence.
A 24-year-old eyewitness told authorities that Mr. McLaren had unsuccessfully tried to light the large firework twice. It’s believed the firework was faulty and exploded on the ground during his third attempt.
Although officially illegal, fireworks were widely available from street vendors across Pattaya on New Year’s Eve. Police are investigating and have contacted the British embassy and McLaren’s family.