WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa – An accident during the West Burlington Fireworks show caused a large ground explosion.
According to the City of Burlington, at 10:07 p.m., about 6 minutes into the show, a 4 inch mortar prematurely exploded after leaving its launch tube. The sparks and ash from the mortar allegedly detonated too close to the ground causing the remaining mortars to detonate.
According to West Burlington’s City Administrator, Dan Gifford, four workers were injured during the incident. They have all been released from the hospital with minor burns. One worker received stitches for a gash he received while trying to flee the scene.
"It certainly could have been a lot worse, and I'm sure the reason that it wasn't worse was because they know what they're doing and they're very professional," says Gifford.
No one in the audience was hurt.
Gifford adds that the City plans on using J & M Displays in the future.
"Every year on the Fourth of July it seems like there's video out there of this happening some place. Unfortunately it was us this year," says Gifford.
Because the show was stopped after just six minutes more than half of the show's fireworks are still sitting unused. The City of West Burlington is now trying to figure out how to dispose of their left over fireworks.
(Video courtesy of Facebook)