At least 28 injured as fireworks are fired into crowd of 10,000 at Fourth of July party
- Terrified revelers fled from Simi Valley Park, 40 miles from Los Angeles
- The incident happened when a stand holding live fireworks collapsed
- Fireworks that were lit were fired across the ground into crowds
- A bomb squad was drafted in to diffuse the remaining fireworks
By Steve Nolan PUBLISHED: 01:00 EST, 5 July 2013 |
Almost 30 people were injured when a wooden stand collapsed at a Fourth of July celebration sending live fireworks exploding into a crown of up to 10,000 people.
Four people suffered serious injuries when the fireworks were fired in the crowd of revelers northwest of Los Angeles.
Thousands of others fled for cover at the Simi Valley park celebration when streams of red and white smoke and flames shot across the ground towards the crowd around two minutes into a display.
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A bomb squad had to be called in following the incident to diffuse any remaining fireworks.
Fortunately, none of those who suffered serious injuries are said to be in a life threatening condition and 16 others were taken to hospital for treatment to minor to moderate injuries.
Another four were given first aid at the party site.
Hazciel Vidrio, 26, told the LA Times: ‘A lot of kids were screaming and crying.
‘People were trying to get away from the fireworks as fast as they could and were running into each other.’
‘Everybody was just terrified. People hid in bushes.’
The crowds were said to have been set back from the collapsed stand around 900 metres away when the incident occurred at around 9.30pm.
A policeman suffered minor injuries when he ran into crowds and had shrapnel pierce his leather belt.
Simi Valley police Commander Stephanie Shannon said: ‘For some unknown reasons the structure that holds these ordinances collapsed and caused them to be firing into the crowd.’
Emergency medical and fire personnel were already at the park to monitor the fireworks show, so the victims were attended to quickly.
Video footage of the incident posted on YouTube shows the dramatic explosion.
Crowds can be heard screaming and shouting ‘run’ as they flee from the blast.
After the incident, the park was evacuated but aerial footage showed dozens of people lingering on the outskirts of the scene and near the triage area set up on the grass.
The annual celebration has been running for 43 years and is sponsored by city authorities and the local Rotary club.
Simi Valley is about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles.