Cities and town all over America lit up the skies with their Fourth of July fireworks shows yesterday, but not all of them were so delightful. In the worst pyrotechnic accident, 28 people were injured in Simi Valley, California, after several inadvertent explosions sent fireworks shooting off into watching crowds and nearby neighborhoods. In this video (via LAist.com), you can see the moment when the fireworks begin exploding on the ground and blasting off in the wrong direction.
Another video shot at ground level gives a better sense of the chaotic scene. Organizers say a platform set up to hold the fireworks tipped over or collapsed, causing the fireworks to be launched in the wrong direction. Many of the spectators were less than 1,000 feet away.
The incident was reminiscent of last year's debacle in San Diego, when the entire stock of fireworks set up for the annual "Big Bay Boom" went off all at once in a single spectacular fireball. In case you were wondering, this year's event went off without a hitch.
However, there were other 4th mishaps last night. In Windsor, Colorado, sparks from a fireworks show started a large grass fire in the park where the public had gathered for the festivities. Luckily, fire crews were on the scene and able to contain it quickly. And in Seattle, someone setting off illegal fireworks inadvertently set a boat storage facility on fire, causing more than $1 million in damage.