People around the world celebrated the new year. The police, fire brigade and rescue workers had a lot to do. Nationwide there were numerous injuries, some of them seriously injured. All information in the news blog.
Photo series with 26 pictures
9.10 p.m .: 15-year-old seriously injured by Böller found
A 15-year-old in Gelsenkirchen was very badly injured while handling a New Year’s Eve hit. The boy was looking for unexploded fireworks on New Year’s Eve, a police spokesman said. He then lit one of the firecrackers he found and, for reasons that have not yet been clarified, held the lid of a saucepan over it. The detonation was so powerful that the lid broke, severed a finger from the boy and seriously injured his neck and chest. The 15-year-old was in an artificial coma on New Year’s Day after an emergency operation. The “WAZ” had previously reported.
6.30 p.m .: Record number of fires in the Czech Republic
At the turn of the year, the fire brigade in the Czech Republic moved out to a record number of fires. From Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, 265 fires were reported across the country. According to the operations center, this is almost 90 more than a year earlier and more than twice as many as at the turn of the year five years ago. Firecrackers set fire to trash cans, recycling containers, balconies, bushes and cars.
According to the emergency services, a woman was killed in the South Bohemian city of Tabor when she drunk down a flight of stairs. A doctor could only determine death. According to the CTK agency, several people exploded in Böller’s hand.
6:05 p.m .: Unknowns throw stones in Leipzig’s Thomaskirche
25 panes, including historic stained glass, were destroyed in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig and in the neighboring Thomashaus on New Year’s Eve. The amount of the damage was initially unclear, the police investigated for property damage. Pastor Britta Taddiken said that some of the stones that were thrown into the church windows from outside had broken through two glass fronts one behind the other. “If there had been people in the room, it would have been very dangerous.” According to Taddiken, the damaged stained glass windows above the west portal date from the 19th century, while the Art Nouveau windows on the neighboring Thomashaus were made at the beginning of the 20th century. The composer Johann Sebastian Bach is buried in the famous St. Thomas Church.
3.45 p.m .: Man shoots Böller in the arm
During the traditional firecracker shooting on New Year’s Eve in Berchtesgaden, a 19-year-old suddenly got a shot and significantly injured the man’s upper arm. External debts can be ruled out after initial investigations, as the police announced on Wednesday. An emergency doctor took care of the man on site, but then sent him to a clinic. At first, the investigators could not say why the shot was released after the weapon was loaded.
3:35 pm: Demonstration against Syrian singers at New Year’s party
In protest against the appearance of a Syrian singer at a large private New Year’s Eve, hundreds of people demonstrated in Mannheim and challenged the police. The singer is accused of supporting the regime of the Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad. According to police reports from Wednesday, a total of around 600 demonstrators gathered, many with flags of the Syrian opposition. Because of the tense mood, the meeting was ended prematurely for security reasons, it said. Some demonstrators later threw stones and eggs at guests of the celebration, at least one car was badly damaged. Nobody got hurt. The police sometimes used truncheons to push the crowd back. Three men were temporarily arrested.
3.30 p.m .: Sparkler ignites Christmas tree – apartment uninhabitable
A sparkler on the Christmas tree caused a fire in the Rhön-Grabfeld district on New Year’s Eve. “When the candle was lit, the tree went up in flames, then the furniture burned,” said a police spokeswoman on Wednesday morning. The residents of the apartment in Bad Neustadt an der Saale – a family of four – fled outdoors. All four people came to the hospital with smoke poisoning. The apartment is said to be uninhabitable due to soot and smoke. The police estimated the damage at least 30,000 euros.
2.30 p.m .: Police in Leipzig investigated for attempted murder
After the attack on a police officer in riots in Leipzig, the State Criminal Police Office in Saxony investigates the suspected attempted murder. The specific circumstances and injuries had prompted the prosecutor to upgrade, said an LKA spokesman. First it was investigated for attempted manslaughter.
On New Year’s Eve, a 38-year-old policeman was seriously injured by pyrotechnics in the Connewitz district of Leipzig. According to the police, several people threw stones, bottles and fireworks at the emergency services. The police had torn the helmet off his head before it was attacked, police circles said.
The 38-year-old lost consciousness. According to the police, he had to undergo emergency surgery in the hospital. “Here someone was targeted and seriously injured,” said the spokesman. The perpetrator was previously unknown. The Soko LinX of the Police Extremism and Terrorism Defense Center Saxony of the LKA was determined.
2:00 p.m .: Celebrations in Berlin are seriously injured
Amputations, broken bones, severe fire injuries: Accident surgeons in Berlin were in constant use on New Year’s Eve because revelers carelessly inflicted themselves and other serious injuries on themselves and others. According to a spokeswoman, 25 people were still in hospital treatment at the Unfallklinikum Berlin (UKB) on Wednesday afternoon. The eleven operating rooms of the large hospital were “in full operation all night”.
In one case, “the entire hand was pulverized,” said the spokeswoman. In several cases, fingers should have been amputated. Another patient had been admitted with burn injuries because a backpack filled with fireworks, some of which were illegal, had blown up.
In another case, a rocket exploded in a man’s face, causing fractures in the midface. In addition, several patients with genital burns were again brought in – fireworks exploded in their pockets. “Obviously, there are no limits to male experimentation.” In fact, the vast majority of injuries are men, who usually involve alcohol and imposing behavior.
1.00 p.m .: Man dies in Alsace in a fireworks accident
A 30-year-old died in an accident with a firework in Alsace. The man died on New Year’s Eve in Haguenau near Strasbourg, the local prefecture said. The prosecutor’s office is investigating the case. The fireworks on the man’s face are reported to have exploded. The case is not related to urban violence, the newspaper “Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace” reported. The newspaper wrote that it was estimated that more than 200 vehicles were lit in the Strasbourg region on New Year’s Eve.
12.55 p.m .: High levels of particulate matter on New Year’s Day in metropolitan areas
Thick air after night fireworks: In many metropolitan areas in Germany, the measuring stations of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) showed very high particulate matter values on Wednesday morning, “Air quality is worse everywhere in large cities,” said a spokesman for the German Weather Service, referring to UBA data from New Year’s Day. A look at the values of the measuring stations confirms this: in the Rhine-Main region or in the Ruhr area, in Bremen and Hanover, Munich or Nuremberg, dark red color dots marked very poor air quality on Wednesday morning, which was mainly due to increased fine dust values.
12.30 p.m .: Animal rights activists call for protection zones for animals
After the tragedy in Krefeld Zoo, the German Animal Welfare Association criticized the negative consequences of New Year’s Eve fireworks for animals and called for safety zones. “We are shocked,” it said. “If fireworks really started the fire, it would be terrible proof of the dramatic consequences of uncontrolled rabies.” In places where many animals lived, such as zoos, animal shelters and farms, private New Year’s fireworks should be prohibited, said James Brückner from the German Animal Welfare Association.
12 noon: 22-year-old uses buttocks as a launch pad – to no avail
This test of courage went awfully wrong: in Austria on New Year’s Eve, a 22-year-old had a firework rocket clamped between his bare buttocks and set on fire – but the rocket did not take off. The young man was startled and narrowed his buttocks, the police reported. The rocket exploded near his butt. The 22-year-old was injured and had to be taken to the hospital.
11:15 am: Saxony’s interior minister: “Inhumane approach”
Police clear an intersection in the Connewitz district, while a shopping cart is in the foreground. (Source: Sebastian Willnow / dpa)
Saxony’s Interior Minister Roland Wöller (CDU) spoke of “conscious and targeted attacks on human life” in the face of the riots in the Connewitz district of Leipzig. “Serious crimes” were committed, which are being followed with all severity of the rule of law. “This inhumane approach borders on attempted homicide,” he said. Leipzig’s police chief Torsten Schultze spoke of “obviously organized attacks” in which the perpetrators “cause or accept serious injuries to people”.
A police officer was seriously injured in the riots. The 38-year-old had to undergo emergency surgery in the hospital after being attacked by violence and losing consciousness, the police said. Three other officers were slightly injured. When deployed in the left-wing alternative district, the officials were massively bombarded with stones, bottles and fireworks. A special commission specializing in left-wing extremism is investigating attempted manslaughter.
The police arrested nine people; three of them were later released. According to the information, the mood turned violent shortly after midnight: The officials had been massively attacked from a group of around a thousand people at Connewitzer Kreuz in the south of Leipzig. A “group of violent criminals” tried to push a burning shopping trolley into the middle of a riot police unit.
11.05 a.m .: rocket hits woman in the face
A 39-year-old was hit in the face by a rocket on New Year’s Eve in Ilsede near Peine in Lower Saxony. The woman suffered a cut and tear on her lower lip and had to be sewn, the police said. According to the information, the New Year’s rocket was fired from a group parallel to the street. The police are investigating for dangerous bodily harm.
11:00 am: Böllerschützen shoots himself in the arm
During the traditional firecracker shooting on New Year’s Eve in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, a 19-year-old shot was released and the man on the upper arm was injured. External debts can be excluded after the initial investigation, as the police said. At first, the investigators could not say why the shot was released after the weapon was loaded. The 19-year-old came to a clinic.
10:05: 18-year-old is stuck in chimney for three hours
Odd job on New Year’s morning: In the municipality of Südharz, a man in only light clothing was stuck in a chimney for several hours. The upper body of the 18-year-old looked out of the 15-meter-high chimney, as the Halle police inspector announced. According to the officials, when passers-by discovered the man, he had been in this predicament for three hours. Members of the volunteer fire department and the technical relief organization released him and took the extremely cold man to a hospital. How he got into the chimney is still not entirely clear.
9.40 a.m .: false alarms in Stuttgart – due to weather conditions and fireworks
The combination of weather conditions and fireworks brought the Stuttgart fire department many missions on New Year’s Eve because of false alarms from fire detectors. A spokesman for the integrated control center said on New Year’s Day that smoke and smoke had not been drawn upwards, but had accumulated on the floor. Overall, the New Year’s Eve for the fire brigade in Stuttgart was quieter than in previous years.
9:20 am: Riots in Leipzig – police officer seriously injured
Police clear an intersection in the Connewitz district of Leipzig: there were riots there on New Year’s night. (Source: Sebastian Willnow / dpa)
In Leipzig there were riots with several injuries in the Connewitz district. At Connewitzer Kreuz there were clashes between revelers and police officers. The police said stones, bottles and fireworks were thrown at them, the police said on Wednesday morning. An official lost consciousness and was injured so badly that he underwent emergency surgery. According to the MDR, three other officers suffered minor injuries.
According to the “Mitteldeutscher Zeitung”, the police spoke of an organized attack on the police. The Connewitzer Kreuz was therefore blocked at night, there were several arrests and investigations. In Connewitz there are always clashes between left-wing autonomists and the police.
8.50 a.m .: Berlin’s fire department has a lot more to do
The Berlin fire brigade was deployed 1,523 times on New Year’s Eve – that was significantly more than in the previous year with 1,385 missions. Between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., the firefighters were called to fire 617 times alone, as the firefighters announced on Twitter on New Year’s morning. This number was also significantly higher than on New Year’s Eve 2018/19 with 432 fires. Rescue workers in the capital helped in 940 cases, compared to 894 the year before. There were also 100 other missions. According to the fire brigade, there were 24 attacks on emergency services, less than New Year’s Eve a year ago, when 49 attacks were counted.
8.40 a.m .: Dead people at New Year’s celebration in Johannesburg
On New Year’s Eve, unknown people shot at a party in South Africa’s metropolis Johannesburg from a moving car, killing at least two people. Six other people were injured in the act of violence in the popular trendy Melville district, the police said. Two of them are still in mortal danger.
The incident happened shortly after midnight when an SUV approached a restaurant. According to eyewitness reports, several volleys were fired from the vehicle at people sitting on tables on the terrace and celebrating the new year that had just started.
Eyewitnesses told TV broadcaster eNCA that many guests initially thought the shots were fireworks. “We only understood what happened when people overturned,” said a young man. Many restaurant visitors would have sought protection in panic. There was a dispute between three men immediately before the shots. One said before leaving the restaurant that he would come back.
According to the police, the two dead are women between the ages of 30 and 40. The background to the fact is still unclear. A terrorist background was initially ruled out, according to unofficial information. The police launched a major search for the perpetrators.
8:00 a.m .: Most of them adhere to the no-firmer zone in Munich
The new ban zone for New Year’s Eve fireworks in Munich’s old town was accepted by most in the first year. Only a few pyrotechnics were ignited, the police said. “Some of these cases were punished by the police with regulatory offenses.” According to the information, around 20,000 people were out at night on Marienplatz and in the adjacent pedestrian zones. For the first time, parts of the old town were banned, as is generally the case with Bavarian palaces, castles and residences.
In total, the Munich police reported more than 230 “New Year’s Eve missions”. It was 77 times about pyrotechnics, 49 times about fires and 42 times about disturbances.
6.30 a.m .: Monkey house in the Krefeld Zoo burns down
The monkey house burned in the Krefeld Zoo on New Year’s Eve. Any help came too late for the animals. More information can be found here.
Krefeld Zoo: In a devastating fire on New Year’s Eve, more than 30 died. (Source: dpa)
6.10 a.m .: New York welcomes the new year
Around one million people greeted the New Year in New York’s Times Square with great cheers, confetti rain and exuberant singing. At midnight, a shining crystal ball was traditionally lowered on a flagpole, the so-called “ball drop”. Afterwards the partiers started the songs “Auld Lang Syne” and “New York, New York”. The rapper LL Cool J, the singer Alanis Morissette and the bands Village People and BTS had previously performed on several stages.
New York: The traditional countdown in Times Square – with prominent advertising. (Source: Jeenah Moon / Reuters)
Many people had already come to Times Square in the middle of Manhattan in the morning to secure the best seats for the spectacle, which was also broadcast live on US television. As always, alcohol and fireworks were not allowed.
6:00 a.m .: Sexual harassment in Berlin
The Berlin police are deployed with a large contingent, but have so far spoken of a comparatively normal deployment for a New Year’s Eve in the capital. During the celebration at the Brandenburg Gate, three suspects were arrested for the sexual harassment of women. A woman was also sexually harassed at Alexanderplatz underground station; a 19-year-old suspect was arrested and handed over to the police. According to the police, all the nuisances came from individual perpetrators and not from groups such as New Year’s Eve 2015/16 in Cologne.
4.00 a.m .: New Year’s Eve in Brazil with giant fireworks
Hundreds of thousands of people have welcomed the new year in the Brazilian metropolis of Rio de Janeiro. Locals and tourists watched the fireworks at Copacabana on Wednesday night. During the almost 15-minute show, ten rafts fired 16.9 tons of fireworks into the night sky. The organizers expected that around three million people would see the show.
2.30 a.m .: Several people in Gütersloh suffer from smoke poisoning
In an apartment in Gütersloh, eleven people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from a cooling grill. Two of them were injured so badly that they had to be taken to a special clinic with a pressure chamber. Two three-year-old children are among the injured. The group had apparently grilled outside, but then dismantled the grill and brought it into the apartment. A few hours later, several people complained of severe headaches.
0.42 a.m .: drunk man ignites rocket in apartment and seriously injures himself
A drunk man set fire to a New Year’s Eve rocket in his apartment in Bebra, Hesse, causing a fire and seriously injuring himself. The fireworks set fire to a carpet on Tuesday, the police said. The flames spread to the roof structure of the building, causing residents to leave their homes. The 52-year-old man was seriously injured in the fire and had to be taken to a hospital, the other residents were not injured. The fire could be extinguished by the fire brigade, the building suffered damage of around 50,000 euros.
0.35 a.m .: Unknowns set fire to police car in Hamburg
In Hamburg, strangers set fire to a police patrol car with firecrackers. The police were on duty and not on the car when the perpetrators first smashed a window on the car, as a spokesman said. The strangers would then have thrown Böller into the car through the broken window – this would then have burned out completely. The perpetrators are therefore on the run.
– Alexander Fröhlich (@alx_froehlich) January 1, 2020
0.00 am: t-online.de wishes you a healthy and successful new year
We hope you have a good start to the year and wish you twelve healthy, happy and successful months. In 2020 we want to continue to provide you with important, exciting and entertaining news. We look forward to your suggestions, feedback and criticism at any time.
11.44 p.m .: Hundreds of thousands celebrate at the Brandenburg Gate
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Berlin on Tuesday evening for the largest New Year’s party in Germany. The party mile, which stretches from the Brandenburg Gate over Straße des 17. Juni to the Victory Column, is “full”, the last access is closed, the Berlin police said in the evening.
DJs, dancers, bands and artists created the mood on the stage in front of the Brandenburg Gate. The party will be broadcast live on ZDF, moderators include Johannes B. Kerner and Andrea Kiewel. Fireworks are not allowed on the festival site, and alcohol is not allowed.
22:06: Böller thrown on the highway
A few hours before the turn of the year, strangers threw guns at Autobahn 100 in Berlin. “There are people on / on the motorway between Oberlandstraße and Tempelhofer Damm,” the police tweeted on Tuesday evening. In the rest of the city, too, there were several missions due to fireworks.
In Neukölln, for example, young men shot heavy firecrackers across the busy Sonnenallee with a slingshot. As a local reporter reported, loud explosions were heard over and over again. Other men fired into the air with shotguns.
Police spokesman Thilo Cablitz spoke around 9:30 p.m. of a comparatively normal deployment for a New Year’s Eve in the capital. In the newly established no-firmer zone on Alexanderplatz and in Schöneberg around Pallasstrasse, “the situation is good so far”.
9:22 pm: Emirates start into the new year with world record attempts
The United Arab Emirates started the new year with a spectacular drone show and two world record attempts. For the first time, the organizers of the fireworks in the Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah used 190 drones, which fired fireworks themselves. The small emirate also tried to set a world record with the longest fireworks waterfall. The fireworks on the coast spanned four kilometers, local media reported. The emirate had already made entries in the Guinness Book of Records with its fireworks in the past two years.
9:01 p.m .: Despite strikes – Macron sticks to controversial pension plans
Despite the massive strikes and protests, French President Emmanuel Macron is sticking to the planned pension reform. “Pension reform is coming to an end,” Macron said in his traditional New Year speech. The head of state assured that those who do “heavy work” should be able to “stop earlier”. He hoped for a “quick compromise” with union leaders. The unions had hoped that Macron would announce cuts in the television speech.
He can understand that “the decisions made can violate and raise fear and resistance,” said the head of state. However, this is not a reason to forego changes. Adhering to the previous regulations means “betrayal of our children and their children, who then have to pay the price for our waiver,” stressed Macron.
8:15 p.m .: Party in front of the Brandenburg Gate is full – all entrances are closed
Thousands of tourists and Berliners flock to Germany’s largest party on New Year’s Eve: the entrances to the festival mile in front of the Brandenburg Gate were closed around 8:00 p.m., the organizers said.
According to the information, several thousand people had come to the Brandenburg Gate shortly after the start of admission to celebrate the transition to 2020 together. Visitors had to expect strict security controls. Fireworks, bottles, sharp objects and larger bags are prohibited on the area.
7.43 p.m .: Putin makes New Year’s speech – and has now been in power for 20 years
In his traditional New Year’s address, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on his countrymen to “unite” in order to promote the “development” of the country. “We live in turbulent, dynamic and contradictory times, but we can and must do everything for Russia to develop successfully,” said Putin, who has been in power in Russia for 20 years. On New Year’s Eve 1999 Putin took over the official business after the surprising resignation of the then President Boris Yeltsin.
“Only together can we face the challenges that society and the country are facing,” said the 67-year-old president in a speech previously broadcast by state television broadcaster Rossjia 1. “Our unity is the basis for the fulfillment of the highest goals.”
6:24 pm: No fireworks in Hong Kong
The new year started quietly in China. In Hong Kong, too, it initially remained comparatively peaceful. There were only a few protests and human chains in China’s special administrative region. While New Year’s Eve is not celebrated in the People’s Republic anyway, the fireworks in Hong Kong were canceled due to the ongoing protests for security reasons.
Instead, a New Year’s version of the nightly light show was held. It is the first time in the ten-year history of fireworks that the spectacle in front of the skyline of the port city has been canceled. In China, on the other hand, the turn of the year was celebrated very calmly, as usual. In the cities, younger people tended to go out together. There were also parties in large hotels.
4.15 p.m .: Spanish village advances the turn of the year
In a small village in Spain, the residents started the new decade at noon. But why? Are the clocks ticking faster in Villar de Corneja than in Bilbao or Barcelona? No, but only around 30 people are registered in the mini-community west of Madrid, most of whom are over 80 years old. The elderly citizens simply did not want to stay awake until midnight and therefore celebrated the turn of the year twelve hours earlier.
The early snack has a long tradition: the village has been serving at 12 noon since 2004. Meanwhile, onlookers also come to the curious New Year’s Eve party in broad daylight. Together with the residents, they gathered on Tuesday in the village square and, following the Spanish New Year tradition, ate a bunch of grapes with each of the twelve chimes of the town hall tower.
2:09 p.m .: 100,000 visitors expected for fireworks in London
In the British capital, more than 100,000 visitors are expected to watch traditional fireworks on New Year’s Eve on the London Eye. This comes from a message from Mayor Sadiq Khan. Scotland Yard called on partiers without tickets not to come to the restricted area in the Westminster district. For security reasons, the waterfront promenade on the Thames opposite the Ferris wheel on New Year’s Eve has only been accessible for a few years with an admission ticket. The tickets were sold out in advance.
Despite ongoing restoration work, the big bell in the clock tower of the British Parliament is expected to ring in the new year again this time. The subject of this year’s fireworks is the 2020 European Football Championship, it said in Khan’s message.
1:19 p.m .: Due to protests: Hong Kong cancels city fireworks
Hong Kong is celebrating this New Year’s Eve without fireworks spectacle because of the ongoing protests. The tourism authority of the Chinese special administrative region announced that, for security reasons, the city’s fireworks will be dispensed with due to expected protests. The cancellation was confirmed at the last minute, it was said, after an impending waiver had already been reported in mid-December.
Instead, a special New Year’s version of the nightly light show is held. It is the first time in the ten-year history of fireworks that the spectacle in front of the skyline of the port city has been canceled. According to press reports, the police had expressed their concerns that they would not be able to ensure law and order in the event of protests on New Year’s Eve.
The protests against the government, Beijing’s influence and for more democracy, which had been going on for six months, had flared up again at Christmas. There were clashes between the police and demonstrators. Protests are also expected on New Year’s Eve. A large demonstration is planned on New Year’s Day.
12 noon: ISS crew can greet the New Year 15 times
The crew of the International Space Station ISS can slip into the New Year 15 times on New Year’s Eve. The Russian space agency Roskosmos said the news agency Ria Novosti said the number of times the crew would exceed the date limit on January 1. The space station orbits the earth every hour and a half. Twelve months ago, the ISS even welcomed the New Year 16 times.
Roskosmos named three locations where the crew wants to celebrate: each according to local time over the control center Houston (US state of Texas), over Lake Baikal in Siberia and over the Pacific.
According to Roskosmos, olives, pistachios, dates, dried cranberries, pine nuts, hazelnuts and chocolate are served for the New Year. Black caviar, which was otherwise consumed at New Year, has to be avoided this time.
The Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skworzow and Oleg Skripotschka, the Americans Christina Koch, Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan and the Italian Luca Parmitano are currently on the outpost of mankind about 400 kilometers above the earth.
11.40 a.m .: Samoa and Kiribati start the new year
Just as west of the international date line, the Pacific island states of Samoa and Kiribati were the first to greet the new year worldwide. As in previous years, great fireworks shone over Samoa’s capital Apia.
Quite a few tourists take the plane trip to the remote Pacific region specifically for New Year’s Eve, in order to be at the forefront worldwide at the turn of the year.
An outbreak of measles overshadowed the celebrations in Samoa. 81 people have died of the viral disease since October. It was only on Saturday that the Ministry of Health lifted a six-week emergency after a nationwide vaccination campaign hit almost all of the almost 200,000 inhabitants.
Samoa moved to New Year’s Eve pole position in 2011 by moving its own time zone, which is one hour earlier in the new year than New Zealand. Two more hours later, the corks pop in Australia’s east coast metropolis Sydney (2 p.m. CET).
Theoretically, those who are particularly fond of celebrations have the opportunity to slip into the New Year twice by traveling from Samoa to American Samoa east of the date line. There is only around 125 kilometers as the crow flies between the capitals, but there is a 25 hour time difference. The US outskirts marks the end of the New Year’s Eve round the world.
10:58: Fire brigade has a lot to do the night before New Year’s Eve
The workload at the Berlin fire department increased significantly the night before the turn of the year. Between Monday evening and Tuesday morning, there were a total of 41 missions, a spokesman said. This number is significantly above the average.
In the early morning, an apartment in Neukölln burned to its full extent, and several residents were brought to safety. A motorcycle was deleted in Reinickendorf and a car in Wedding. No one was injured during these operations. The spokesman made no statements regarding the respective cause of the fire. It was also used at night due to fireworks, it said.
The forces in the capital expect a stressful working night at the turn of the year. The fire brigade will be ready in Berlin with 1,460 people, the police will send around 2,000 additional officers to the streets.
Monday, December 30th, 2019. 10:40: Young men break into the supermarket and steal New Year’s Eve
The Berlin police arrested four people because they allegedly stole several boxes with pyrotechnics from a supermarket. The three youngsters and a 20-year-old man had broken into a storage container for fireworks in a supermarket in the Marienfelde district at around 11:00 p.m. on Sunday evening.
9.35 a.m .: forest fires and particulate matter – dispute over New Year’s fireworks in Sydney
Shortly before New Year’s Eve, the fire brigade in Australia has no objection to the traditional New Year’s fireworks in Sydney Harbor. The planned pyrotechnics show could take place in the state of New South Wales despite the ongoing bushfires, the fire department said on Twitter. There had previously been fierce discussion about the fireworks in Sydney.
Politicians and hundreds of thousands of residents had urged to cancel this year’s show in the harbor because of the bushfires and the increased particulate matter levels. “The risk is too high. We have to respect the exhausted volunteers of the fire department,” said New South Wales Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro on Twitter. An online petition calling for fireworks to be canceled in the coastal metropolis had received more than 270,000 signatures by Monday morning.
The pyrotechnics show draws over a million visitors to Sydney Harbor each year, helping the city generate around 130 million Australian dollars. The bush fires in Australia have been raging since October. New South Wales in the southeast of the country is particularly hard hit.
9:19 am: Despite the environmental debate – record amount of rockets and firecrackers imported
Despite all the environmental debates, the imports of firecrackers and rockets for New Year’s Eve have grown strongly. Last year, the record amount of 47,400 tons of fireworks worth 121 million euros was imported to Germany, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Compared to the previous year, the imported amount of firecrackers and Co. increased by almost 11 percent and measured by 48 percent in 1999, according to the Wiesbaden statisticians. Almost all of the fireworks came from China.
Böllern has long been a thorn in the side of environmentalists, because enormous amounts of fine dust get into the air and a lot of plastic waste remains in the streets. Animal rights activists also complain about the noise from firecrackers and rockets, which scares dogs and cats.
Deutsche Umwelthilfe campaigns to avoid buying fireworks for clean air. Several retailers have already removed firecrackers and rockets from the range. For the turn of the year 2019/2020, the Association of the Pyrotechnic Industry expects sales of 133 million euros – about as much as in the previous year.
7.50 a.m .: Police find tons of illegal firecrackers in 22-year-olds
With almost 200 illegal New Year’s Eve hits in their luggage, a 22-year-old went to the police in Erfurt. According to the authority, officials checked five people on a school’s freely accessible site on Sunday evening.
In the young man’s backpack they found 72 firecrackers banned in Germany as well as 120 firecrackers, which he had probably made himself. The 22-year-old carried five kilograms of illegal pyrotechnics and six fake 50-euro notes.
6.02 a.m .: New Year’s Eve fireworks leave thousands of tons of fine dust
According to the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), New Year’s Eve fireworks again lead to an increase in particulate matter levels, especially in cities and metropolitan areas in Germany. Hourly values of around 1,000 micrograms of particulate matter (PM10) per cubic meter of air are no exception in the first hour of the new year in big cities, says Stefan Feigenspan from the UBA department for air quality assessment.
In a brochure, the UBA anticipates that around 4,200 tons of fine dust will be emitted every year by fireworks, the majority of which will be released on New Year’s Eve. Predictions about the expected load and statements about the possible influence of firework prohibition zones at this turn of the year cannot be made, according to Feigenspan.
According to the authorities, how long air pollution persists after the fireworks depends on the weather. “With a lot of wind and rain, the particles generated by the fireworks quickly dilute and spread,” explains Thomsen. In spite of the high amounts of fine dust generated, the concentrations could be relatively low and possibly remain below the daily limit. In other weather conditions, particulate matter can stay in the air for hours and accumulate in the lower layers of the atmosphere, according to the UBA.
Monday, December 30, 5.20 a.m .: Association of cities and municipalities against a general ban on New Year’s fireworks
The association of cities and municipalities has spoken out against a general ban on New Year’s Eve fireworks. Private fireworks and firecrackers at the turn of the year have a long tradition and are an “expression of joie de vivre”, said managing director Gerd Landsberg of the “Passauer Neue Presse”. Therefore, they should not be generally prohibited.
With blanket bans and legal restrictions, “you won’t get anywhere,” said Landsberg. However, the population must be sensitized to the stresses that the fireworks would cause on people, animals and the climate. It must be promoted for responsible handling of firecrackers and fireworks.
In many municipalities, however, some or even complete bans on fireworks and fireworks on New Year’s Eve apply. In a large number of cities and municipalities, the firecrackers are forbidden, for example, near senior homes and children’s homes, said Landsberg. However, according to a survey published on Friday by the newspapers of the editorial network Germany (RND), more than half (57 percent) of the Germans are in favor of a general ban on fireworks.
2:50 p.m .: Clear New Year’s Eve expected
“The night at the turn of the year is often clear,” said DWD meteorologist Markus Übel on Sunday. “After midnight there can be dense fog in the middle, west and south, which could spoil the New Year’s fireworks, especially in densely populated regions.”
The reason for this is the huge amount of dust and soot particles that arise during fireworks. On New Years it usually stays dry at temperatures between 2 and 8 degrees.
2:05 p.m .: Berlin: New Year’s Eve party at the Brandenburg Gate is being prepared
Berlin is preparing the largest New Year party of the country: Since Thursday the construction work around the party mile has started Brandenburg Gate, Streets are blocked off, concrete bollards are erected, the event spokeswoman said. The boy group East 17, hit star Frank Zander and the Swedish rock band Mando Diao have announced themselves. The ZDF shows on December 31. From 8.15 p.m. the New Year’s show “Welcome 2020” live from the Brandenburg Gate. Andrea Kiewel and Johannes B. Kerner moderate.
Guests have to be prepared for extensive bag and person checks. 600 to 800 employees of private security companies are deployed on December 31. In addition to glass bottles and large bags, fireworks are also prohibited on the site.
For the first time, rockets and firecrackers are banned not only on the party mile at Brandenburg Gate on New Year’s Eve, but also on northern Alexanderplatz and around Pallasstrasse in Berlin-Schöneberg. Around 140 officials in the two zones are to check whether all parties respect the ban.
The hospitals are also preparing for the most dangerous night of the year. Vivantes rescue centers are preparing for around 500 additional patients.
1:50 pm: Survey: Every tenth person celebrates New Year’s Eve alone
According to a survey, every tenth adult in Germany spends New Year’s Eve alone. This emerges from a representative Yougov survey commissioned by the German Press Agency. Accordingly, 10 percent gave the answer that they were not celebrating with anyone, that New Year’s Eve was alone. 37 percent of the respondents said they celebrated the turn of the year “with a partner”, 33 percent “with family”, 23 percent “with friends and acquaintances”. Multiple answers were possible.
Only 2 percent indicated “work colleagues” as New Year’s Eve celebrants, as many spoke of people unknown to them (“I go to a party / event at which I hardly know anyone”). One percent celebrates with people on social networks, i.e. online. When asked in mid-December, 9 percent said they had no plans yet, 8 percent did not provide any information.
The proportion of lonely people on New Year’s Eve is particularly high among the elderly: 13 percent of those surveyed over 55 said they were alone on the night of January 1, compared to only 8 percent for 18- to 24-year-olds and 25 for those aged 25 – up to 34-year-olds only 6 percent.
Sunday, December 29, 1:21 p.m .: Hamburg: Fireworks ban on the Inner Alster
The Hamburg police have reminded the citizens of the Hanseatic city of the ban on fireworks around the Inner Alster. On New Year’s Eve, bringing, burning and using fireworks around the Inner Alster is prohibited, the police said on Sunday. The reason for the ban is the experience of the past years.
Last year alone, many thousands of people, some of whom were very crowded, celebrated New Year’s Eve around the Inner Alster, the report said. Dangerous situations always occurred. In addition to five police officers, a seven-year-old child and a 16-year-old were injured. The ban is intended to prevent such cases this year.
2:34 pm: Police find over 1,000 illegal firecrackers in a 19-year-old’s car
The border police in Bavaria caught a 19-year-old with more than 1,000 illegal firecrackers in the car. “We found 1,160 Czech-made explosives in the car, some of them were even installed in the engine compartment,” said a police spokesman. In total, the man had around 14 kilograms of pure explosives in the car.
“The firecrackers in the engine compartment were particularly dangerous – they could have exploded at any time due to the heat and vibration.” The 19-year-old from Offenbach in Hesse had noticed the officers during a check. He now has to answer for a crime under the Explosives Act.
2:22 p.m .: Berlin police check after the start of sales of New Years fireworks
At the start of sales of New Year’s Eve fireworks, the police in Berlin are increasingly checking the shops. According to a spokesman, it is checked whether the sellers have the corresponding license, the maximum quantity is not exceeded and the goods are properly stored. Fireworks and fireworks can be bought from Saturday to New Year’s.
The Berlin fire brigade points out that only fireworks with a registration number and CE mark should be purchased. Fireworks bought illegally are life-threatening. In addition, firecrackers and rockets should be kept separate from lighters or matches. Rockets should only be launched from bottles with a safe footing and a sufficient safety distance from people and buildings – never at an angle or from balconies. The fire department also recommends removing flammable objects from the balcony before New Year’s Eve.
For the first time this year there are prohibited zones for fireworks and fireworks in Berlin. No firecrackers or rockets are allowed in the center of Alexanderplatz in northern Berlin and in Schöneberg in the area between Steinmetzstrasse and Pallasstrasse and the surrounding area from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
1:12 p.m .: Sales of fireworks started in Thuringia
The sale of New Year’s fireworks has started in Thuringia. Since Saturday, rockets, firecrackers and firework batteries have been going over the counter in many shops. The TÜV Thuringia meanwhile warned against igniting illegally imported fireworks from abroad that do not meet the local standard. “Illegal fireworks cause serious accidents every year,” said a statement. Generally, ointment and bandages should be kept in the medicine cabinet. Because fireworks every year not only cause blast injuries, but also injuries to the hands and eyes.
A man is standing in the parking lot of a shopping center with a pack of fireworks items: From 28.12. until December 31 Shops are allowed to sell fireworks items. (Source: Moritz Frankenberg / dpa)
Missiles and firecrackers may only be ignited on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s. In addition, the burning of fireworks in the immediate vicinity of churches, hospitals, children’s and old people’s homes and particularly fire-prone buildings is prohibited. In some Thuringian cities there are also restricted zones around historic buildings such as Friedenstein Castle in Gotha, the historic old town of Weimar and Heidecksburg Castle in Rudolstadt.
12.48 p.m .: Despite heat and the fight against flames, Australia still plans fireworks
Searing heat threatens to make the fight against the bush fires that have been blazing for weeks even more difficult. Especially the southeast of the southern hemisphere faces days with extremely hot weather, as the meteorological authority announced on Saturday. Given the expected temperatures of up to 43 degrees in western Sydney, the risk of fire will increase at the beginning of the week.
In the state of New South Wales, whose capital is Sydney, around 70 fires are blazing, 30 of them out of control, according to the fire brigade. In Australia’s capital Canberra, the temperatures climbed to 38 degrees Celsius. The city raised its fire warning level further and imposed a total fire ban.
Despite the fires, a gigantic fireworks display is said to shine over the port of the metropolis of Sydney on New Year’s Eve. An online petition calling for the fireworks to be canceled and the millions of dollars spent on them to be sent to those affected by the fire was already supported by more than a quarter of a million people on Saturday, but was unsuccessful.
A burning house in the south of Australia: the fire departments have to fight with rising temperatures. (Source: Uncredited / Australian Broadcasting Corporation / AP / dpa)
The Sydney City Council had already confirmed in a statement in mid-December that the fireworks, which attract millions of visitors annually, would take place. The spectacular show, with which Sydney is one of the first cities in the world to greet the New Year, will bring the state’s economy around 130 million dollars, it said. A cancellation would also ruin New Year’s plans and bookings by tens of thousands of people. In addition, the money had already been spent on preparing the fireworks.
12.21 p.m .: 4,800 police officers in North Rhine-Westphalia on duty on New Year’s Eve
On New Year’s Eve, around 4,800 police officers are to ensure that the people of North Rhine-Westphalia can freely greet the new year. “We want people in NRW to be able to celebrate New Year’s Eve safely and happily. That is why the NRW police will be present and approachable on site,” said NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU).
The Ministry of the Interior’s New Year’s Eve decree provides for an aggressive and consistent intervention by the police if there are disruptions to public security and violence. Particularly qualified civil servants are used to look after sexual offenses. Reul also emphasized: “There can be no one-hundred percent security, but the police officers will do everything possible to prevent sexual assault and violence.”
The debate about New Year’s fireworks has been polarized this year. Since the summer months, environmentalists have increasingly mobilized against the bulge at the turn of the year because it causes fine dust and piles of rubbish and is dangerous for animals and children. According to the Federal Environment Agency, firing fireworks releases 4,200 tons of fine dust annually, mostly on New Year’s Eve.
The environmental association BUND therefore calls for a rethink. It was time to “raise awareness of contemporary New Year’s fireworks and show alternatives: light shows and public pyro spectacles instead of private firecrackers in the fine dust haze,” it said in a message. Individual retailers had caused a sensation with their announcement that they would take New Year’s Eve out of the range. However, industry insiders do not believe that this harms the annual sales of the pyroindustry.
Police force in front of Cologne Cathedral: Arrangements are also made for New Year’s Eve in North Rhine-Westphalia. (Archive picture) (Source: Maja Hitij / dpa)
No fireworks may be ignited in Cologne around the cathedral and in parts of the old town. Fireworks are also banned in Düsseldorf’s old town for the fourth year in a row: there were always injuries in the narrow streets. Bielefeld and Dortmund also banish missiles and other pyrotechnics from the party hotspots in the city center. Aachen decided for the first time this year on a spell mile in the old town – above all to protect the historic churches and facades. Large cities such as Essen, Duisburg or Wuppertal continue to dispense with ban zones.
In addition to the bollard-free zone, Cologne also plans to have more lighting in certain areas of the city, for example on the station forecourt, at the turn of the year. In addition, there should be a ban on trucks over 7.5 tons and trucks with trailers in the city center.
12.07: Lower Saxony / Bremen – New Year’s Eve fireworks and firecrackers not allowed everywhere
In some cities in Lower Saxony and Bremen this year again ban zones for fireworks and firecrackers are set up on New Year’s Eve. In Braunschweig, for example, the area around the Schlossplatz should remain free of fireworks. This was a response to several incidents last year, a city spokesman said. Among other things, a 15-year-old adolescent was seriously injured by a firecracker explosion.
As in the previous year, there will also be a prohibition zone in Hanover. No fireworks may be carried or ignited between the main train station, the Opera Square and the Kröpke. In Bremen, banging around the town hall and the Roland is prohibited. Fireworks are also prohibited at the zoo by the sea in Bremerhaven so as not to frighten the animals unnecessarily, said a spokeswoman for the city.
In Lüneburg, the prohibition zone is intended to encompass the area of the Kalkberg nature area and the entire historic city center. A spokesman for the city said that a fire could spread particularly quickly here due to the narrow buildings. The zones are to be checked by the police and local security forces.
It is forbidden to burn fireworks near churches, hospitals and particularly fire-sensitive buildings. The fire brigades in Lower Saxony and Bremen repeatedly warn against fireworks items from abroad that are not permitted in Germany.
Saturday, December 28th: Firecrackers, firecrackers, rockets – New Year’s Eve fireworks sales have started
The sale of New Year’s fireworks started three days before the turn of the year. Before the factory sales of the manufacturer Weco, for example in Eitorf in North Rhine-Westphalia, customers had been waiting to buy rockets, firecrackers and batteries since the early morning hours.
The sale of fireworks is normally only allowed from December 29th. Because this falls on a Sunday in 2019, the fireworks sale starts a day earlier. But popping is only allowed from December 31st.
The topic of New Year’s Eve fireworks caused some discussions this year. For example, the German Environmental Aid (DUH) demanded that in 98 cities across Germany, which are particularly polluted with particulate matter, it is no longer allowed to be pounded.
In several German cities there are no firecracker zones again this year, but to protect the residents and old towns. For example, popping around the Cologne Cathedral and in parts of the old town is prohibited. Prohibition zones are also being set up in Düsseldorf and Berlin.
Run on the New Year’s fireworks has started
Böller: The run on the New Year’s fireworks has started. (Source: Reuters)
10:03 p.m .: Union and FDP domestic politicians reject general ban on fireworks
Domestic politicians of the Union parties and the FDP have rejected calls for a general ban on firecrackers on New Year’s Eve. The CDU interior expert Marc Henrichmann told the “Bild” that he was annoyed by this culture of permanent bans in Germany. Henrichmann added that bans only make sense if they can also be controlled. CSU domestic politician Michael Frieser also called a general ban on fireworks in the newspaper “neither expedient nor enforceable”.
In the “Bild”, however, Frieser called for the previous three-day rule, during which the firecracking around New Year’s Eve is allowed, to be limited to 48 hours. In Frieser’s view, locally imposed Böller prohibition zones should only exist where there is real danger and accidents or where there are known hot spots in the Böller scene and their behavior repeatedly leads to excesses.
The FDP interior expert and faction vice of the Liberals Stephan Thomae pointed out in the newspaper that cities and municipalities could already issue bans on fireworks in certain areas. “Do we really need a green ban dictatorship in every area?” Asked Thomae. He almost got the impression that in the end people should be banned altogether.
According to a survey published on Friday by the newspapers of the editorial network Germany (RND), more than half (57 percent) of the Germans are in favor of a ban on fireworks. According to another survey commissioned by “Bild”, three quarters (78 percent) of Germans also want to do without New Year’s Eve.
18:57: UFO union calls for three-day strikes at Germanwings over New Year’s Eve
Passengers of the Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings have to be prepared for flight cancellations over New Year’s Eve: the flight attendant union UFO has announced three-day strikes at the Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings at the turn of the year. The strike will take place from Monday midnight to Wednesday midnight, as deputy chairman Daniel Flohr said in Frankfurt on Friday. Lufthansa sharply condemned the strike call.
Initially, the strike call only referred to Germanwings, said the UFO representative. Further possible strikes should only be announced after January 2, provided Lufthansa “does not continue to pour oil into the fire”, emphasized Flohr. To justify the strike call, he said that the Germanwings management did not give the employees a clear perspective for the future of their flight operations. Negotiations on the UFO claims, which led to strikes in November 2016 and October this year, failed without results.
15:16: Police find kilograms of New Year’s Eve brand homemade in Hesse
The police in Hesse caught a teenager who is said to have made eight kilos of fireworks for New Year’s Eve. The blast would have had a significant explosive effect, as the police said on Friday in Homberg. The Kripo was therefore on the trail of the 16-year-old from the Schwalm-Eder district last week. Previously, he is said to have ordered four kilos of magnesium powder from an online shop.
“The Internet trade immediately informed the police after the in-house monitoring program recognized the controversial order,” the officials said. During an apartment search, the police found the pyrotechnics and seized them. The young people now face criminal proceedings on suspicion of violating the Explosives Act.
The police warned: “Many self-made fireworks can explode with the slightest impact and cause serious damage.” One should also keep away from missiles or firecrackers from abroad, as these may not have been tested and therefore not only prohibited in Germany, but could even be life-threatening under certain circumstances.
Friday, December 27, 2019: Fireworks explode in the retail market – nobody is injured
Three pallets of fireworks have exploded in the warehouse of a sales market in Pirna (Saxon Switzerland-Eastern Ore Mountains). No one was injured on Thursday evening, as the police in Dresden said on Friday. According to the Pirna fire department, residents noticed a firelight in the warehouse at around 10 p.m. and informed the police. The explosion of the fireworks initially set the pallets on fire. Then the fire spread to the warehouse. Why the fireworks exploded is still unclear. No further details were initially known.