Pictured: London welcomes 2013 with spectacular fireworks

06:54 01 January 2013

Fireworks explode over the London Eye during the New Year celebrations. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Fireworks explode over the London Eye during the New Year celebrations. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Thousands of people descended on London to herald the start of the new year and enjoy the stunning annual fireworks.

The display featured 12,500 fireworks. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA WireThe display featured 12,500 fireworks. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Clips from the 2012 Olympic Games featured in an 11-minute display over the London Eye.

About 250,000 people were estimated to be in the capital for the celebrations, which featured 12,500 fireworks.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “What an amazing end to an incredible year.

“Watched by hundreds of thousands in the capital and millions around the globe, London has proved, yet again, that it can pull off spectacular world-class events in style.”

The fireworks also lit up Big Ben at midnight to welcome in 2013. Picture: Yui Mok/PA WireThe fireworks also lit up Big Ben at midnight to welcome in 2013. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Many of them waited for hours to secure the best viewpoints on the banks of the Thames on a dry and mild night.

The Metropolitan Police said as of 3.45am, officers made 96 arrests across the capital relating to the New Year’s Eve celebrations, mainly for being drunk, public order offences and assault.

More than 3,500 police supported the organisers and stewards of the event in central London.

Chief Inspector John Williams said: “This year has really been one to remember and what better way to top off the success of team GB at the Olympics and Paralympics and the pageantry of the Queens Diamond Jubilee than with a world-class firework display.

The display lasted for 11 minutes. Picture: Yui Mok/PA WireThe display lasted for 11 minutes. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

“This year saw the viewing areas fill up earlier than ever before with thousands of revellers coming to see in the new year London-style.

“Officers worked hard, alongside the stewards, in very large crowds to keep people safe in what is a challenging policing environment, helping to ensure revellers and visitors alike could make their way home at the end of the night.

“There were no major issues reported to police and the crowds were good natured.

“Officers continue to work through the night to facilitate the clean-up operation, ensure roads are reopened and the area returns to normality in time for the New Year’s Day parade.”

The display looked even more spectacular from the other side of the river. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA WireThe display looked even more spectacular from the other side of the river. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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Quirky London