A TERRIGAL New Year’s Eve fireworks display ended with fears for the safety of thousands watching on the beach after a huge explosion caused a flaming inferno on the display barge about 150 metres from shore.
Revellers scattered and police and ambulances rushed to the resort beach when an explosion shocked onlookers about five minutes into the display at 9pm.
“The fireworks were going off as you’d expect and then suddenly there was a hell of an explosion. Next thing the barge was on fire,” said Terrigal resident Kevin Andrews.
Another spectator said the huge explosion “sort of hit you in the chest” and left the barge “well and truly alight right in front of the surf club”.
At time of print a man believed to have been on the barge at the time of the explosion was believed to be uninjured, but shaken, after diving into the water and being rescued by police or surf lifesavers.
The fireworks display, organised as part of the “It’s Time for Terrigal” promotion, attracted thousands to the beach for an evening of entertainment, with the fireworks display as the main event. A strong north-easterly wind produced choppy conditions for the barge moored in front of Terrigal Surf Club.