Monday, March 5, 2007

Taiwanese set off 8.1-mile firecracker

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Organizers lit up a 8.1-mile string of explosives in a southern Taiwanese county Sunday, hoping to create the world's longest firecracker in a record-setting attempt expected to last two hours.

TV footage of the Chinese New Year celebration in Tainan County, dubbed "Legend of the Fire Dragon," showed rapid flashes of bright red explosions that created huge wafts of white smoke.

Throngs that had gathered to witness the spectacle wore masks, goggles, and even motorcycle helmets to protect themselves from the pollution.

The firecracker was expected to take two hours to finish burning.

The record-breaking attempt needs to be verified by Guinness World Records.

Taiwanese newspaper United Daily News reported that Spain holds the current world record for the longest continuously burning firecracker at 7 miles.

The record wasn't listed on the Guinness World Records official Web site, which only contains partial listings.

The festivities in Taiwan Sunday marked the last day of the 15-day Chinese New Year celebration. Other locals set aloft lanterns in the sky.

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