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Friday
Jul052013

California Fireworks Accident Leaves over Two Dozen Injured

@dennert(SIMI VALLEY, Calif.) -- A fireworks mishap in a town northwest of Los Angeles has left at least 28 people injured after an "unintended" detonation fired fireworks into a crowd during the Fourth of July display.

The incident occurred Thursday night in Simi Valley, Calif., approximately 35 miles northwest of Los Angeles.  Rancho Santa Susana Community Park was evacuated and the show was halted after the incident, which took place at approximately 9:30 p.m.

"Everybody started screaming and everything that was supposed to happen didn't happen.  It was pretty frightening.  And a block of wood…came shooting down into the side of my leg," eyewitness Joanne Herrera told ABC News.

Of the 28 injured, four are considered seriously injured, according to Commander Stephanie Shannon with the Simi Valley police department.

Shannon said the injured have been taken to Simi Valley Hospital, Las Robles Regional Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital.

During the incident, fireworks ordinances -- the actual firework container with the explosive material and fuse -- were fired into the crowd.  The injuries sustained are consistent with projectile type injuries, with shrapnel projected into victims' bodies.

"We saw at least two or three fireworks go sideways, horizontally and explode," said J.T. Alpaugh, a KABC-TV reporter who was watching the display with family.  "And then it seemed like the barrage of fireworks started exploding at the base of the park, right near the soccer field at ground level.  Now obviously fireworks are designed to go up 200 feet in the air and explode.  And we realized immediately that something was terribly, terribly wrong."

After the incident, fireworks were still on the field.  Authorities have evacuated the field, and are waiting for the Ventura County Fire Department bomb squad to respond and detonate or deactivate the unexploded fireworks.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio