Man killed by New Year firework

A British man has been killed in an accident with a firework at a New Year’s Eve party in Thailand, local police have said.

Gary McLaren, from Northamptonshire, died when a firework he was trying to light exploded in the seaside town of Pattaya.

The 50-year-old died at the scene, just after midnight.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said they were supporting the family of a British man who died in Thailand.

Lt Col Somboon Ua-samanmaitree of the Thai Tourist Police said: “Around midnight, Mr. McLaren attempted to light up a large firework but it failed to go off at first. After that, it suddenly exploded and killed him at the scene.”

Other tributes on social media described him as “one of the most popular” members of the Grand Prix motorcycle racing community, “a great guy” and a “real professional”.

The Bangkok Post reported that police and rescue workers arrived to find a crowd of people and Mr. McLaren lying on the ground with serious facial injuries. A large firework was found at the scene.

The paper said a witness described seeing the British man celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends. Mr. McLaren tried and failed to light the firework before it suddenly exploded, the witness said.