Safety

Foul fireworks display sends 50 to hospital

Emergency Management Alert, July 14, 2004

A Pittston, PA, fireworks display gone awry sent about 50 people to area hospitals last week, the Times Leader reports.

During the fireworks display's grand finale on July 5, an errant firework landed into a crowd of people and ignited a fire. When the crowd tried to disperse, chaos erupted. About five to 10 people suffered major burns and dozens were wounded, an ambulance worker on the scene told the Times.

"With about 20% or 25% of the finale left, that piece exploded irregularly," said Michael Lombardo, mayor of Pittston. "It exploded at ground level and went left and right at about 10:30 p.m."

Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital initiated its disaster plan after seven victims arrived at the facility, said Conrad Schintz, vice president of hospital operations.

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