A child was taken to hospital on July 3 in Michigan after fireworks landed in a crowd of onlookers. Several people sustained minor injuries at the event in Allegan during the city’s annual July 3 jubilee celebrations. The fireworks display occurred close to the city’s Kalamazoo River, around 90 feet from the boardwalk, where spectators gathered. A stray firework landed on the boardwalk, and a dramatic clip from the evening shows a child screaming for help.
City officials released a statement saying, “During the firework display, a firework cake from the proximate show unintentionally landed in a crowd located to the East of one of the pontoon boats. This resulted in a handful of minor injuries, all but one of which was treated at the site of the incident.”
There were several such incidents across the country, including some resulting in fatalities. In Amarillo, Texas, a 15-year-old boy died when struck by a firework in a residential area. Jared Scott Maddox, 58, died when his house caught fire in a firework-related accident, while in Kentucky, 48-year-old Brian Simpson was killed when he tried to light a commercial-grade firework using a homemade mortar tube.
In Missouri, a man died and several people were injured when a garage filled with fireworks went up in flames. Similarly, 10 were wounded and a woman killed in Michigan when a home fireworks display went tragically wrong.
Last year, more than 10,000 Americans were injured during July 4 fireworks celebrations. The most common injuries hospitals record are to hands and fingers, followed by the head, face, and ears. Burns and lacerations are the most common types of wounds, and the eyes are also particularly vulnerable with several hundred injuries sustained each year.
The National Security Council issues safety advice and says the main things to remember are to keep powerful fireworks away from children and to avoid drinking too much alcohol – most accidents involve people who have had too much to drink.