For two families in Malaysia, the New Year began on a tragic note.
One man in Johor Baru and another in Ipoh died when firecrackers exploded.
Mr Sze Joon Choon, a 36-year-old factory dispatch worker in Johor Baru, died after fireworks exploded while he was lighting them to usher in the New Year.
He had lit the fireworks at the stroke of midnight on Friday at his home, The Star reported.
Family members and friends who were with him watched in horror as the tragedy unfolded.
He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7.30am yesterday.
Johor Baru South Assistant Commissioner Sulaiman Salleh said Mr Sze, a bachelor, died due to severe injuries to his face.
Said ACP Sulaiman: "I warn those celebrating the season to refrain from lighting up fireworks.
"There is no need to risk our safety especially during a joyous occasion.
"Burning firecrackers is prohibited. It also causes inconvenience to the neighbourhood and the lack of precaution may result in accidents."
Meanwhile, in Ipoh, a 42-year-old vegetable farmer died in a similar incident.
Mr Chai Ming Yau was playing with fireworks in front of his house Friday afternoon when they exploded.
Mr Chai, the father of a four-year-old child, died on the way to hospital.
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