SYDNEY, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Australian authorities have seized nearly 150 kg of fireworks in northern Sydney, days before the city's popular year-end festivities.
The illegal fireworks were being kept in a garage area unsuitable for storing explosives, New South Wales state's Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean told Xinhua on Thursday about the seizure by workplace health and safety agency SafeWork NSW. Investigations into the case are ongoing.
Those using, storing and transporting display fireworks in the state need a licence and anyone caught flouting the rules can be fined and jailed for up to a year.
The largest seizure of fireworks in the state in recent years, involving more than 1.5 tons of the pyrotechnics, resulted in a prosecution in January 2015, said Kean.
Three deaths and numerous serious injuries including burns and loss of limbs have also been linked to illegal fireworks in the past two years, he said. The agency is also working closely with the police to target those attempting to sell illegal fireworks on social media in the runup to the holidays.
SafeWork NSW has handled numerous illegal fireworks cases in recent years throughout the state, said Kean.
"Although this is not the largest, the items have the potential to cause serious injury or death."
Major New Year's Eve celebrations in Sydney include the popular fireworks displays launched at the city's iconic harbor bridge and opera house areas.