Scare Prompts Stampede During Philly's July 4th Fireworks

Scare Prompts Stampede During Philly's July 4th Fireworks

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

There was a panic on the Ben Franklin Parkway on the Fourth of July, with people yelling and confused, fearing the worst.

What was mostly a smooth night ended with some people running scared.

But the question is why?

FOX 29's Jeff Cole spoke to people right in the middle of the madness and filed this report Friday night live from the parkway with some answers.

Cell phone video shows the moments of panic at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday as the July 4th fireworks exploded in the distance.

John Piorkowski says he gathered up his two kids, his girlfriend, held up his cell phone, clicked record – and ran.

He said there were "literally hundreds of people running at us."

"We waited for the first wave to hit us, and we ran," he said.

The video shows concert-goers hurrying off, firefighters directing people and what appears a police helicopter in the air directing a spot light to the ground.

"I saw cops running. They appeared to grabbing their guns. It was very crazy and nuts," Piorkowski said.

The 38-year-old South Jersey contractor wasn't the only one caught up in the commotion.

A family visiting from Annapolis, Md., says the scene unfolded right in front of them.

"A bunch of people said, ‘Run, run,'" the father said. "We hid behind a post and watched as lots of cops came into the area."

The Philly July 4th events on the Parkway draw a big and diverse crowd, and last night was true to form.

When FOX 29 News called police about Thursday night's stampede, the public relations staff had no answers but said there had been no reports of gunplay or violence.

By mid-afternoon, Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison revealed the unrest had been caused by firecrackers tossed to the ground, prompting some to run.

Asked if it would influence his decision to the Parkway again to celebrate Independence Day, Piorkowski said, "Can't stop living your life due to incidents like this. It will not stop us from coming back."

Here are links to more YouTube videos showing the commotion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRDqvcZMmOM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG-b1tyHNE4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KslxqzdKQsI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kow_qESXPr0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNZDOq6yKyQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4PA-vdu4RU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Gesh5oslPg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LehA-FZZqiM

  • Jeff Cole ReportsMore>>

  • FOX 29 Investigates: Former Scout Leader Accused of Abuse

    FOX 29 Investigates: Former Scout Leader Accused of Abuse

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:36 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:36:56 GMT
    A new lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts and a former scoutmaster by a Chester County mother has the Scouts nationally explaining its actions in the case. Patsy Evasew claims the former scout leader sexually abused her son and it eventually led to his demise.The images of Thomas Evasew's sad, short life hang on the wall of his folks' Chester County home. "I feel when I touch it, I'm touching him. I miss him so every day. There's not a day that goes by,” says Patsy Evasew. She says she misse...
    A new lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts and a former scoutmaster by a Chester County mother has the Scouts nationally explaining its actions in the case. Patsy Evasew claims the former scout leader sexually abused her son and it eventually led to his demise.The images of Thomas Evasew's sad, short life hang on the wall of his folks' Chester County home. "I feel when I touch it, I'm touching him. I miss him so every day. There's not a day that goes by,” says Patsy Evasew. She says she misse...
  • FOX 29 Investigates: Pa. Sex Offender Allegedly Strikes Again

    FOX 29 Investigates: Pa. Sex Offender Allegedly Strikes Again

    Tuesday, May 20 2014 11:18 AM EDT2014-05-20 15:18:24 GMT

    A convicted child predator is accused of stealing his best friend's identity and striking again! FOX 29 Investigates how he pulled off an escape from Pennsylvania and where he is now.

    A convicted child predator is accused of stealing his best friend's identity and striking again! FOX 29 Investigates how he pulled off an escape from Pennsylvania and where he is now.

  • Fox 29 Investigates: School Crossing Guards

    Fox 29 Investigates: School Crossing Guards

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:46 AM EDT2014-04-17 10:46:24 GMT
    In Philadelphia, the city pays crossing guards about $50 a day to ensure the child's safety. But what happens when they don't show? Fox 29's Jeff Cole investigates.
    In Philadelphia, the city pays crossing guards about $50 a day to ensure the child's safety. But what happens when they don't show? FOX 29's Jeff Cole investigates.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices