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M5 crash coroner suggests rules for firework displays

The aftermath of the crash on the M5 on bonfire night in 2011 Credit: ITV News West Country

A senior coroner in Somerset has written to the Department of Transport, suggesting new rules for firework displays near motorways.

Following the fatal pile-up on the M5 at Taunton, Michael Rose is calling for various new measures including more detailed risk assessments of geographical features, wind conditions and humidity.

Seven people died in the crash in 2011.

Warning over "lethal" stolen fireworks

Avon and Somerset Police are warning that fireworks stolen from a property in Langford on Monday night can be lethal if used by members of the public.

The makes that were stolen are listed as Category 4 under the Fireworks Act 2003, which restricts their sale to fireworks professionals.

Police say they do not have a fuse and would explode immediately if someone tried to light them.

Others are designed to be lit within a metal tube to control their direction.

Around 100 fireworks were taken including Purple Tiger Tails, Red Tiger Tails, Spinning Flower Rings and Xette Ring Cyler shells.

Stolen fireworks Credit: Avon & Somerset Constabulary

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Full report: man pleads not guilty to M5 crash charge

A man charged in connection with the M5 crash in Somerset which killed seven people, has pleaded not guilty to a breach of health and safety law.

Firework company boss Geoffrey Counsell organised a display at a rugby club beside the motorway in Taunton on the night of the pile-up in November 2011. From Bristol Crown Court, Richard Payne reports.

Firework boss pleads not guilty to health & safety charge

The only man to be charged following the M5 crash in Somerset which killed seven people has today pleaded not guilty to a breach of health and safety.

Firework company boss Geoffrey Counsell organised a display at a rugby club beside the motorway in Taunton on the night of the pile-up in November 2011.

From Bristol Crown Court, Richard Payne reports:

M5 crash: Man pleads not guilty to health & safety charge

Geoffrey Counsell. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The only man to be charged following the M5 crash in Somerset which killed seven people has today pleaded not guilty to a breach of health and safety.

Firework company boss Geoffrey Counsell organised a display at a rugby club beside the motorway in Taunton on the night of the pile-up in November 2011.

As well as the seven deaths, 51 people were injured, some seriously, in what was one of the worst ever motorway crashes in the UK.

Mr Counsell appeared at Bristol Crown Court to deny a charge that on November 4, 2011 he failed the ensure the health and safety of persons unknown.

He was released on unconditional bail at the end of a 50 minute hearing. A provisional trial date has been set for November 11.

Charges of manslaughter were dropped at an earlier hearing.

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M5 manslaughter charges dropped against firework organiser

Manslaughter charges are to be dropped against the man who organised a firework display on the night of the M5 crash in Somerset in which seven people died. Bristol Crown Court heard that Geoffrey Cousell will face a health and safety charge.

Fifty-one people were also injured in the crash near Taunton in November 2011.

Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour said of Avon and Somerset police said:

The collision on the M5 in November 2011 was one of the worst in living memory. We launched a comprehensive investigation immediately after to establish the full circumstances which led to the collision. Our investigation was meticulous and complex. We took hundreds of witness statements, examined 34 vehicles and consulted several experts. Based on this evidence the Crown Prosecution Service decided to charge. However, following further consideration in recent weeks they have decided to drop the manslaughter charges.

– Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour

Trowbridge fireworks display off

Firework display cancelled Credit: PA

Bad weather conditions have led to this year's Trowbridge fireworks display being cancelled.

The event was due to take place on this Saturday but has now been called off after organisers decided the Greenhill Fields site unsafe following heavy rain last night.

The display was being organised by Bradford on Avon Rotary Club. The club have confirmed any advance tickets already ordered will be fully refunded from the shop they were purchased from.

Bridgwater fireworks to start Guy Fawkes Carnival with a bang

Fireworks display Credit: PA

A fireworks display will be held in Bridgwater tonight [Friday] to prepare the town for the annual Guy Fawkes Carnival.

The carnival will take place tomorrow for the first time in years to make it more accessible to families.

There'll also be a fairground at St Matthews Field.

The event is organised by Bridgwater Town Council and Sedgemoor District Council.