Despite fire, Peru marks 2002 with fireworks

Wednesday, January 2, 2002

LIMA, Peru -- Exploding rockets streaked through the Lima sky early Tuesday as Peruvians rang in the new year with fireworks despite a weekend blaze sparked by a firecracker that ravaged the capital's downtown and killed 290 people.

President Alejandro Toledo had asked Peruvians not to light fireworks to celebrate New Year's out of respect for the victims of Saturday's fire, Peru's deadliest on record.

Red, green and white star bursts filled the New Year's air. But in some neighborhoods the explosions lasted only a few minutes, unlike in previous years when Peruvians traditionally launched fireworks for several hours. In many neighborhoods, firework displays were smaller.

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