Man Critically Injured After Firework Explodes In His Hand — As Holiday Celebrations Leave Others Dead

Leave the explosives to the professionals, y’all.

A New Jersey man was one of many who had an unfortunate Independence Day when a mortar firework went off prematurely in his hands. In a press release, the Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department said responding officers and EMS units found the 23-year-old semi-conscious and bleeding from his head just before 1 a.m. on Sunday.

According to witnesses, the young man was lighting the firework when it exploded. He was airlifted to Cooper Trauma Center in Camden in critical condition and sustained injuries to his head and hands. 

The department said:

“This tragic incident provides a potent reminder to our community that illegal fireworks can be dangerous and unpredictable and should only be used by licensed, trained professionals.”

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only firework-related fiasco over the holiday weekend. Col. Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police told that there were six serious and three minor injuries involving fireworks across the state over the weekend.

At least one person was killed in the state as well: a 33-year-old Jersey City man died after he was struck in the chest by a firework early Saturday. A spokeswoman for the city, Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione, said the man, whose name was not reported, might have been holding the firework when it exploded and struck him in his chest, causing fatal injuries. 

Meanwhile, outside of the Garden State, a 63-year-old Ohio man died of “extensive head trauma” after he was struck by fireworks, a man in Washington, D.C. died on Friday after he lit a firework and held it over his head, and a Minnesota man lost an eye after a firework exploded in his face.

Charles Johnson is thankful he is alive and able to talk about the accident. The 26-year-old told Inforum that he ignited a few fireworks before he walked over to light the fuse of a fountain firework when all hell broke loose.

He recalled:

“I went to light one and it blew up in my face. It is supposed to light one at a time and it went off all at once… All I heard was the explosion, and I ran into the lake because I felt like I was on fire after the explosion. I took a dip in the lake and waited for the ambulance to get here.”

He continued:

“ want to remove the eye, they are going to put in a prosthetic eye. And I am not sure insurance will pay for it… It only takes a blink of an eye to change your life and that is what happened to me.”

No kidding.

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