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Thursday, February 2, 2023

‘High-powered’, illegal fireworks explosion on July 4 kills California man

City officials said a California man died at a Fourth of July party after illegal fireworks fired into his hand.

City officials said in a statement that the victim, who was not immediately identified, was critically injured while police retaliated at a home in Montebello around 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Paramedics tried to save the man before being taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead with serious injuries.

City spokesman Michael Chi said preliminary investigations showed he was igniting a high-powered, mortar-type aerial fireworks, which is illegal in the city of Montebello, when things went tragically wrong.

“The victim apparently attempted to hold the device when the fireworks went off and caused severe trauma to her upper torso,” Chee said. “Preliminary findings indicate that he personally brought illegal fireworks with him to this private gathering.”

No other injuries were reported. The identity of the victim has not been released.

Aerial fireworks are prohibited in Montebello, as well as in Los Angeles County and throughout California.

“Residents were encouraged to actively report illegal fireworks viewing and to use common sense safety awareness when using ‘safe and sensible’ fireworks,” Chee said. “This tragic accident and death could have been avoided and serves as an unfortunate and grim reminder of the danger posed by illegal and high-powered fireworks.”

Chi told CBS Los Angeles that the mortar-like device was packed with gunpowder in a long tube, intended to be placed on the ground due to the “force of the ejection.”

“We understand that the person must have held the device while it was turned off,” Chee said.

The Man Died Suddenly After Authorities Reportedly Cracked Down On Illegal Fireworks In Southern California.
The man died suddenly after authorities reportedly cracked down on illegal fireworks in Southern California.
Getty Images

According to the Los Angeles Times, ExpoShow Inc. in Kern County on suspicion of illegal activity.

State officials accused the pyrotechnic company of setting off fireworks without a license and carrying a fake State Fire Marshal seal as well as homemade explosives, the newspaper reported Friday.

Meanwhile, one of the victim’s neighbors told NBC Los Angeles that she was shaken after the fatal explosion.

“It is very sad, it is very sad, to lose your life because of illegal fireworks,” the unidentified woman told the station.

Other neighbors told CBS Los Angeles that Independence Day is dominated by illegal fireworks in and out of Montebello.

“It’s everywhere, Pico Rivera, Montebello,” David Luna told the outlet. “I mean, it’s crazy.”

Other residents said they never had a problem with people staying at home.

“I’m so sorry this happened, but you learn a lesson,” Montebello resident Sherman Lim told CBS Los Angeles. “It’s a terrible cost.”

An 11-year-old Indiana boy also died over the Fourth of July holiday weekend after being seriously injured during fireworks on Sunday, state police and relatives said.

World Nation News Desk
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