A 12-year-old child has been killed and another seriously injured in a Dutch fireworks accident today, despite a nationwide ban on fireworks to usher in the New Year.

The incident happened in the small eastern town of Haaksbergen near the German border, when the children were apparently watching an adult set off fireworks using a home-made device.

"A 12-year-old boy died after the incident. Another boy has been taken to hospital," police tweeted.

"The children had nothing to do with the incident," they added.

The children were watching a man set off explosives using a "klaphamer", the NOS public broadcaster said.

The device is essentially a scaled-up version of a cap pistol toy in which a hammer strikes an anvil filled with combustible powder, producing a loud bang.

Police arrested one man.