At least 28 injured in July 4th fireworks accident in Simi Valley, CA

[Warning: video may be disturbing to watch]

28 or more people received minor to severe injuries on Fourth of July night when fireworks exploded sideways, shooting into the crowd at an Independence Day celebration in Simi Valley, CA. The incident happened just two or three minutes into the pyrotechnics show.

One witness shot a video, above; you can hear him screaming, "Run! Run!"

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Police Commander Stephanie Shannon said there is no indication of foul play and that the explosion appears to be an industrial accident." [via @nycjim]

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  1. This happened in my hometown some years back. Fortunately, it was only one tube that fell over, and by what I can glean from accounts, the rocket was not an exploding type, but one that leaves a trail as it flies.

    Unfortunately, and tragically, it struck a young girl in the head, killing her. Since it did not detonate, and everyone's eyes were skyward, it was not immediately obvious that anything was wrong. The show continued with everyone ooing and ahing, unaware of the trouble.

    The rocket passed close enough to my family that they could feel the heat of its passing. It threaded the gap between my family and the family of my best friend. They'd set out blankets about ten feet apart from each other before realizing that they were both so close, but then didn't bother to pick up and move together.

    I had planned on attending the fireworks with my friends that evening, but we'd changed our minds at the last minute. Had we not, we certainly would have set up in that gap between our families.

    My father has some pretty horrific stories from that evening, which I'll not relate. My grandfather started having flashbacks to WWII. I still enjoy fireworks displays, but they're definitely not quite the same to me any more.

  2. I thought it was something of a standard operating proceedure to set off large scale fireworks like these from in a pit of some sort, or behind an embankment, or with some manner of barrier between them and anything of value, especially human life?

    They also seem to be set up far too close, considering the size and number being set off.

    Do firework safety standards differ from state to state, or even city to city? The local police commissioner called this an industrial accident, but does that imply a manufacturing failure, or user error? If the latter, surely this would this qualify as negligence?

    At least no one was killed. Let's hope for a speedy recovery for the wounded, and better firework safety in the future.

  3. What are you - some kind of Stalinist?

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