Confessions of a pyrotechnician - Playing with fire

Confessions of a pyrotechnician - Playing with fire

SINGAPORE - That his job is a dangerous - even life-threatening at times - is a fact that Mr Wilson Quek does not like to mention to his family.

You see, he doesn't want them to worry unnecessarily.

The 25-year-old, who works as a pyrotechnician at Intermay Magix, does not want them to worry unnecessarily.

Truth is, glitches in this line (which happen very rarely, he is quick to add) can be costly.

Like the time he climbed on board a floating barge in India to check on the explosives, only to have them go off at arm's length unexpectedly.

Explains his partner, 31-year-old Siva Sankara Rao, who also choreographs and executes pyrotechnic displays: "I told him via our communications system that he did not need to go ahead with the checks because the show was starting, but he actually didn't receive the message because of a comms breakdown."

The blasts went off, causing him to fall over and black out for a few seconds, says Mr Quek.

Thankfully, he managed to escape unscathed.

These occurrences are few and far between, he stresses.

The risk, he adds, is worth it. He does not even mind that months of hard work end in a few minutes of glory in the night sky.

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