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Faulty Fireworks Display Injures 35 people in California

Jul 8, 2013

At least 35 people were injured by a faulty fireworks display at the Simi Valley Rotary Club in California. Simi Valley police say that the accident was caused by a collapsed launching platform, causing the fireworks to launch into a crowd of 8,000 to 10,000 people. "What we understand is potentially one of the launching stations fell over, resulting in ignited fireworks going into the crowd," said Simi Valley spokesman Sergeant Tom Meyer.

At least 26 patients were admitted to the Simi Valley Hospital as a result of the incident, according to facility spokeswoman Alicia Gonzalez. The patients ranged in age from 17 months to 71 years, including a dozen children. A representative for the Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks said that the facility received seven patients. Injuries include burns, shrapnel wounds, chest pain and trauma from being trampled on in the crowd.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is probing the incident to further investigate exactly what went wrong. Police say that Bay Fireworks of Bethpage, New York, who mounted the fireworks show, is complying with the probe. The fireworks show was held by the Simi Valley Rotary Club. It was the Rotary Club’s second time using Bay Fireworks.

Images of the incident show black fireworks debris being spread all across the field where the display was held, about 30 miles west of Los Angeles.

Accidents involving fireworks have caused chaos in the past. Reuters reports that in Seattle, illegal fireworks caused a fire at a dryland boat storage facility on Lake Union. Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said that as a result, 14 vessels were set on fire causing an estimated $1.4 million in damages.

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