More than three dozen people were injured on Thursday, July 4, when a public fireworks display in Simi Valley went horribly wrong.
The New York-based pyrotechnics company, Bay Fireworks, was running the show when the accident occurred, reports the Los Angeles Times. The injured victims ranged in age from a toddler to a 71-year-old man.
The display was scheduled to run for 25 minutes. But, according to reports, about 5 minutes into the show, a series of explosive charges caused fiery projectiles to shoot along the ground from the grandstand where the display had been set up, sparking panic and chaos in the massive crowd, which a fire official speaking to KTLA News estimated at between 8,000 and 10,000 people.
Police Cmdr. Blair Summey of Simi Valley told the Los Angeles Times that the incident was a chain reaction that started when one of the explosives detonated early inside the canister. The charge tipped other canisters over, which then began firing toward the crowd.
While authorities have determined that there was no foul play involved, an investigation into the incident is being carried out by the Simi Valley Police Department, the Ventura County Fire Department and the state fire marshal. In addition to searching for the cause, investigators will determine whether the crowd was a safe distance away from the display.
Bay Fireworks has experienced other incidents, though none so damaging as the Simi Valley show. A chain reaction blast at a New York show run by the company injured three spectators and two fireworks technicians, and the same summer, a popular Long Island beach was evacuated when a box of fireworks shells that had fallen off a barge used by Bay Fireworks began washing ashore there.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. San Diego personal injury attorney Melinda Helbock has successfully represented clients in many accident cases. Contact Melinda today to discuss the details of your case.