POLICE officers had a lucky escape when a heap of confiscated fireworks suddenly caught fire in front of them.
The bomb experts were piling the powerful illegal pyrotechnics which they were about to destroy when a stray flare was blown by the wind and set them off.
The incident happened during an operation in Chiclayo in the north-west of Peru.
Video footage shows the terrified bomb experts and reporters sprinting away from the exploding fireworks which detonated in an unstoppable chain reaction.
More than four tonnes of black market pyrotechnics, including explosives and flares, were confiscated by the authorities the day before and destroyed.
Unflappable TV cameramen present at the scene of the unplanned detonations managed to keep their cool and captured the fireworks exploding in a cloud of smoke and loud bangs for more than two minutes.
Illegal fireworks cause thousands of deaths and injuries around the world each year.
Peru recently tightened up restrictions on the sale fireworks, ahead of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
The Peruvian General Directorate for the Control of Security Services, Guns, Ammunitions and Explosives for Civil Use (DICSCAMEC) has intensified inspections on popular shopping areas in the capital, Lima, in a bid to crack down on potentially lethal fireworks.
Stores that do not comply with state regulations have reportedly been closed down.