Fourth of July celebrations were marred in two Michigan counties after a woman died and several others were left injured in two separate fireworks explosions.
The first incident took place when an errant mortar apparently shot sideways into a crowd of spectators in Allegan County during Jubilee celebrations on Tuesday night. One child was transported to a hospital and several others suffered minor injuries, ABC affiliate 13 On Your Side reports.
Around 30 minutes later, a fireworks explosion killed a 43-year-old woman in Park Township, about 30 miles from Allegan County. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that the woman was declared dead at the scene but it is unclear whether the explosion occurred during an organized Independence Day celebration.
Nine individuals suffered injuries ranging from minor to critical and nearby homes and vehicles were also damaged during the explosion, CBS News reported.
An investigation is now underway.
Skyler Veldhuis, who was present at the Allegan County celebration when the explosion took place, told 13 On Your Side that she didn’t know if she could ever attend the firework show again.
“I am actually very traumatized, you can say because I mean, I’m used to them being far away like them coming over on the other side of the bridge shooting up,” Mr Veldhuis said. “And I don’t know if I plan on going back. And that’s my hometown. So it’s very tragic.”
In Lake County, Illinois, a man was also critically injured after a powerful firework exploded in his face as he was trying to determine why it hadn’t detonated.
A weekend firework explosion in Kansas City left four people injured, two of them seriously. And on Monday, improperly disposed fireworks started a blaze that destroyed two homes in Parker, a town just southeast of Denver, Colorado, according to fire officials.
Some cities in the US ditched firework displays for shows in which drones fitted with lights are coded to create massive, moving shapes in the sky.
Lake Tahoe, California, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Boulder, Colorado, have opted for aerial spectacles in order to avoid explosive fireworks that could also start wildfires.
More than 10,000 people are injured while handling fireworks every year, according to NPR. Seventy-three per cent of those injuries around the Fourth of July.
Last year, 11 people were killed in fireworks explosions, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
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