Independence Day enthusiasts had a short-lived fireworks display Monday evening at the south side parking lot of the University of Central Oklahoma Liberal Arts building.
Edmond Police Sgt. James Hamm said about 15 minutes into the evening fireworks display a firework went up low into the air and exploded too soon. Half of the show fired.
“Evidently when that happened it set off some other fireworks on the ground there where the display was,” Hamm said. “And whenever all that occurred there was one spectator who received a minor injury of shrapnel.”
The spectator was taken to a hospital in a private vehicle by the time the Edmond Fire Department arrived on the scene,” Hamm said.
Edmond Deputy Fire Chief Chris Denton said the Fire Department responded to a call at 10:02 p.m.
A report that two workers of a fireworks crew were injured is false, said Bob Meinders, LibertyFest president and chairman of the fireworks show.
“None of the workers were injured,” Meinders said.
Hamm said he was at the show but did not see the fireworks malfunction. The show was canceled after the fireworks malfunction, he added.
June Cartwright of LibertyFest said it appears that it was a faulty shell that misfired.
“I know this company is a wonderful company and are great to work with,” Cartwright said. “We’ve worked with them for years. They’re very professional and take the utmost precautions.”
Arc Pyrotechnics has been handling the show for 10 years, Meinders said, and the source of the problem was probably a manufacturing error. LibertyFest called the Edmond bomb squad to investigate the matter.
“It’s very safe and we maintain a safe distance,” Meinders said. “That’s why we institute all the procedures that we do. Once this happened — it’s all computerized and the kill switch was hit immediately and it prevented additional fireworks from shooting.”
Meinders said in excess of 50,000 people view the display from nearby settings or from their neighborhoods.