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Fireworks burn down Christmas tree in northern Taiwan

Mother, children flee scene, later admit to crime

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The Christmas tree art installation at Shang Park in Toufen, Miaoli on fire. (CNA photo)

The Christmas tree art installation at Shang Park in Toufen, Miaoli on fire. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Christmas tree art installation in a park in Toufen, Miaoli was found on fire Saturday (Feb. 10).

Deputy Director of the Toufen Branch of the Miaoli County Police Department Lu Yen-ting (盧彥廷) said they received a report at around 8 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 10)., saying that a Christmas tree at Shang Park suddenly caught on fire, per CNA.

Firefighters arrived at the scene to extinguish the fire but most of the tree had burned by then, leaving only its metal reinforcement, per UDN. Furthermore, a pile of firecrackers was found at the scene.

Residents said that before the incident, three people walked to the park carrying a large amount of fireworks.

Based on surveillance footage at the intersection and interviews, the police discovered that a 46-year-old woman surnamed Chen (陳) and her children were setting off fireworks in the park and accidentally caused the Christmas tree to catch on fire, the police reported. Chen later admitted to taking her two children to the park to light firecrackers in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

The case will be transferred to the Miaoli District Prosecutor’s Office for investigation on grounds of endangering public safety, the police said.