28 Injured At Simi Valley Fireworks Show

28 Injured At Simi Valley Fireworks Show

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Simi Valley, CA -

(FOX 11 / AP) More than two dozen people were injured Thursday when fireworks malfunctioned at an annual 4th of July show northwest of Los Angeles.

An accidental detonation occurred about 9:20 p.m. at an event called the Fireworks Extravaganza located in a large community park in Simi Valley, said police Cmdr. John Parks.

It wasn't clear how many people were in attendance but Parks said the event usually attracts several thousand revelers.

Twenty people were taken to area hospitals with minor to moderate injuries, authorities said. Another eight were treated at the park where emergency crews set up a triage area. A bomb squad was at the park to deactivate the remainder of the fireworks.

A video clip show on KCAL-TV shows a pair of firework blasts at or near the ground. It wasn't known how close people were to the blast's origin. Another clip posted on YouTube shot from a distance shows three ground-level bursts. The fireworks continue for almost another minute before stopping.

"There was a big boom, everybody started running down the street, people were screaming," Justice Allen, 17, of Simi Valley told the news media. "Everybody was just terrified. People hid in bushes."

The annual July Fourth celebration has been sponsored by the city and the local Rotary Club for the past 43 years.

Simi Valley is about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

 

From Hal Eisner:

There was chaos, panic, fear. Every single person I spoke with in person, on the phone, on Facebook or Twitter who was at Simi Valley's July 4th Annual Fireworks Extravaganza felt those emotions. Many ran for safety. Some fell to the ground to avoid being hit by the sideways launching fireworks.

It happened so fast, but to Robert Paglia it was like everything was in slow-motion as he tried to help first responders. Joann De Collibus panicked. She thought she would get burned. She didn't. 12 year old Alex King got a bruise. Victor Morales' wife had her hair cinged. His brother got hit in the face. Kathleen McGuire was so traumatized she told me she'll never go to that fireworks display again even though it was her favorite.

Police say what happened was that one of the many launching station's set up toppled over, landed on another causing the fireworks to spread to the ground.

The show was put on by TheBay Fireworks Co. from New York State. They issued a statement of regret adding it is conducting a complete and thorough investigation so this sort of thing never happens again. Meanwhile, the investigation continues to find out what led up to the "industrial accident" as it's being called.

To download and view the press release from Bay Fireworks Co. - Click HERE. (PDF format)

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