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Court sentences Taipei man over Matsu parade fireworks incident

The China Post news staff--The Taipei District Court has sentenced a man three months in jail for injuring an apartment owner and causing a fire at the victim's housing unit with fireworks rockets.

The man, a resident of Taipei surnamed Chen, volunteered to set off firecrackers and fireworks during a parade of Matsu, the goddess of the sea, in March.

But when the parade procession of the statue of the deity reached Daan District, some of the fireworks set off by Chen ended up on the balcony of a fourth-floor apartment and sparked a fire.

The fire soon spread to the third floor of the same residential building and burned the apartment owner, surnamed Cheng, and the face and limbs. Cheng's balcony was also damaged by the fire.

Chen was indicted by prosecutors for violating rules against public safety and committing negligent injury.

Chen had settled the case with the two apartment owners, including extending an apology and agreeing to compensate them for their losses.

The judge handling the case gave Chen a light sentence of three months and allowed him to pay a fine in lieu of serving the jail term.

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