At least one woman was killed, and nine others suffered critical to mild injuries in fireworks explosions in neighbouring counties in western Michigan.
Both explosions occurred on Monday within a 30-minute window of one another and were no more than 30 miles (48 kilometres) apart. The first occurred in Allegan County, where a mortar appeared to have fired accidentally into a crowd of spectators, and the second happened in Park Township, where a Dutchwoman, 43, was killed in a fireworks explosion.
According to a statement from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, the woman was pronounced deceased after emergency personnel arrived on Main Street in Park Township.
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The news release did not specify whether the explosion happened during a planned July Fourth public event.
Nine additional patients were transferred to nearby hospitals. According to the announcement, several nearby residences and vehicles were also harmed. Investigations into the explosion are ongoing.
Roughly 18,000 people are living in Park Township. Located about 30 miles (48 kilometres) southwest of Grand Rapids, it is on the shore of Lake Michigan.
The July 3 Jubilee celebration in Allegan, which included a fireworks show over the Kalamazoo River, went wrong around 10:30 p.m., according to police, when a mortar shot was fired horizontally and fell amid the crowd of onlookers. Authorities remained mum about any injuries.
Amy Cummings of MLive/The Grand Rapids Press said, “It was terrifying.” “I woke up and can still hear the terrified cries of the kids.”
A second explosion happened late on Saturday in a Kansas City suburb, injuring four people, two critically. According to Chief Todd Maxton, firefighters from Northwest Consolidated Fire District discovered fireworks exploding as they arrived at the scene of a shed fire in Lexington Township, Kansas.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were responsible for 11 deaths in the U.S. last year. Emergency rooms treated about 10,200 patients. Around the Fourth of July, around three-quarters of injuries occurred.