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Father's appeal on danger of counterfeit fireworks

The father of a 12-year-old boy whose son was burned by a counterfeit firework has joined police in issuing a warning on the explosives.

Connor Tiffney suffered superficial burns to his hand near his home in New Stevenston, North Lanarkshire. A 15-year-old boy is being treated at Glasgow Royal Infirmary for serious burns after a similar incident involving the rogue batch of fireworks earlier in the day in Motherwell.

Connor had been on his lunchbreak from school when he encountered four older boys lighting fireworks. One flew towards Connor and he put his hand up to protect his face and it hit his hand. He ran home and his father, George, 43, gave him first aid and took him to Wishaw General Hospital on Thursday.

Police said the device that injured Connor was part of a batch of illegal fireworks discovered nearby.

Mr Tiffney said: "Connor's been very lucky that he hasn't suffered far more serious injury. His hand is blistered and will need further treatment but he will get over this. He could easily have lost an eye or been very badly hurt."

Last night police, trading standards officers and forensic explosive staff, said the fireworks were counterfeit and posed a significant danger to the public.

They also believe more are in the hands of other youngsters in the area. It is thought they were discovered in an illegal stash in a shed behind houses in New Stevenston. Police recovered several hundred items but believe there could have been up to a thousand hidden in the area.

Superintendent John McTear said: "We would urge anyone who may have purchased them or have them in their possession to contact police who will dispose of these safely. Please do not put them in your household bin"

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