A two-minute silence to honour fallen war veterans was disrupted when a man let off fireworks into a crowd of people earlier today, November 10.
The incident happened in Eccles, Salford, with local residents left ‘disgusted’ when their attempts to pay respect to British soldiers who fought in the two World Wars and later conflicts were ruined.
Those who witnessed the man setting off the fireworks near the cenotaph in Eccles town centre said they were left in shock following the incident.
You can watch the aftermath below (warning: explicit language):
Witnesses at the event described the sound to the Manchester Evening News as like a ‘rocket’ being let off. It occurred shortly after 11am, when two minutes of silence were being observed across the country.
After the fireworks were set off, footage of the aftermath showed a large group of people – including elderly servicemen – shouting up towards the window of an old pub, in which the alleged culprit was sitting.
Many could be heard shouting ‘get him out’, as a man attempted to open the window and climb through, all the while speaking to another person inside the building. Others were seen trying to break down the door of the pub as a number of concerned police officers tried to hold members of the public back.
The man who apparently set off the firework, wearing camouflage gear, quickly retreated back into the pub via the upstairs window after members of the crowd started launching traffic cones at him when he started arguing back with them.
Members of the public took to social media to condemn the man’s alleged actions, with one man stating: ‘How sad to see Remembrance Sunday service marred by a complete idiot.’ He claimed to have seen a man sitting on a window at the Albert Edward pub, facing the memorial, drinking from a can shortly before the two-minute silence.
The witness explained:
Then at 11am, as people observed the two-minute silence, he lets off a rocket which exploded above the people gathered there. Several servicemen tried to force their way into the pub and luckily the police stopped them, no doubt for their own safety.
Further ugly scenes ensued with traffic cones being hurled from the pub, one hitting a policeman. He was restrained and taken away by the police but the situation remains tense with police on guard outside the pub.
One woman who witnessed the incident said she was ‘disgusted’ by it, adding the remembrance service was ‘completely ruined’ by the fireworks being let off into the crowd and ‘showering members of the public with embers and sparks’.
She added dogs were left ‘petrified’ and the local community was left ‘in shock’ by the culprit’s ‘lack of respect and disregard for people’s safety and feelings towards such a sentimental day’.
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said:
Shortly after 11.05am today (Sunday 10 November 2019), police were called to reports of a disturbance at a pub on Church Street in Eccles.
Officers attended and a 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence. He has been taken to custody for questioning. Initial enquiries suggest that a firework was thrown through the window of the pub.
There are no reported injuries. Enquiries are ongoing.
A 38-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and taken into custody.
Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting incident number 1183, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).