Although fireworks and firework displays bring a lot of spectacular fun to everyone involved, sometimes things don’t go according to plan. It seems that every year there is an instance of fireworks going off in an unintended manner. Sometimes fireworks mishaps end up causing injuries, but luckily, sometimes it all just results in a big, untimed display, which ultimately we all enjoy a bit of a laugh at.
Here’s our take on the five biggest firework mishaps.
4th of July Show, San Diego, 2012
On top of the significance of the date, 4th of July is famous for its spectacular fireworks displays that take place all across America. Every city organises a display during the festivities and the competition to create the best show in the area is tough.
In 2012, San Diego had prepared a big fireworks spectacular, like many years before, when things didn’t go down smoothly. Instead of enjoying 18-minutes of crazy fireworks, onlookers were greeted with a 15-second explosion of all the fireworks at once. The good news was that no one got seriously hurt.
Taunggyi Balloon Festival, Myanmar, 2014
Asian countries are big fans and users of fireworks and it isn’t any wonder considering fireworks have their roots in the region. There’s been many mishaps in the region as well, but last year’s hot air balloon disaster in Myanmar was one of the worst.
Many residents turned out to participate in the balloon festival, where one of the main attractions is to set off a big hot air balloon, which then shoots out fireworks. This time, the balloon’s fireworks were set off before take-off, resulting in the fireworks shooting towards the crowds. Two people were reported to have died, with many people injured during the disaster and the resulting chaos.
Fireworks Factory Explosion, Colombia, 2015
Fireworks accidents often take place during a display or when people don’t store their fireworks correctly, but sometimes even factories suffer from mishaps. The most recent accident took place in Colombia, where a fireworks factory exploded.
The resulting fireworks explosion lasted for minutes and looked quite spectacular, albeit dangerous. The person filming it was even blown off their feet!
The Worst Disaster, the Netherlands, 2000
In terms of the most disastrous fireworks mishaps of all time, the unfortunate leader is the horrific disaster that took place in the Netherlands in 2000. The fireworks factory that was located right in the middle of the residential area suffered a small fire, causing the improperly stored fireworks barrels to light up.
Nearly 100 tons of fireworks went off and 23 people lost their lives with many more being severely injured. This disaster marked a turning point in many respects, with the fireworks industry across Europe and beyond sitting up and starting to take notice of safety regulations. Several new regulations and laws also resulted from this terrible event.
Prank Gone Wrong, Florida, 2007
Fireworks are not something anyone should be playing with, but unfortunately, there are always those who think pranking with fireworks is funny. In Florida, a man thought it might be fun to light up a firework inside a big firework tent without permission.
As a result, the whole tent blew up in a mass explosion, with one man nearly losing his life because of the guy’s stupidity. As a consequence of his bad taste in pranks, the man was sentenced to over three years in jail.
Fireworks are fun and great entertainment, but only when you use them correctly! As we have seen, accidents can happen, and the consequences can be spectacular and devastating in equal measure.