Tragedy struck a hometown 4th of July celebration when 11 people suffered personal injuries in a fireworks accident in Palmyra, Pennsylvania, northeast of Harrisburg. Palmyra residents had gathered for an evening fireworks display to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day and the borough’s 250th anniversary. Shortly after being lit, one of the fireworks misfired and exploded, peppering the watching crowd with burning chemicals. Eleven people suffered personal injuries and had to be treated at the hospital. Two people, including a child, remain hospitalized with more serious burn injuries.
The gun powder and flammable chemicals used to create the stunning pyrotechnic displays we love to watch on the 4th of July make fireworks extremely hazardous to both workers and bystanders. Every year numerous people, often fireworks workers, suffer serious burn injuries during municipal Independence Day fireworks displays. Most fireworks injuries, however, are associated with home fireworks. In 2009, burns and explosions from fireworks sent 9,000 Americans to the emergency room and killed two people, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Fireworks distributors say national standards have resulted in safer fireworks; however, Philadelphia medical professionals and Philadelphia fire marshals every year warn residents about the potential risk of serious personal injury inherent in using consumer fireworks. Most fireworks accidents to children involve firecrackers and bottle rockets; but sparklers, which many Philadelphia parents consider benign, cause one-third of the eye injuries suffered by children under the age of 5, according to Prevent Blindness America. Sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees; hot enough to melt gold.
Fireworks injuries can result in permanent disfiguration, traumatic amputation of digits or hands and debilitating loss of use injuries. When traumatic injuries occur, Philadelphia personal injury attorneys can advise victims of their rights and aggressively pursue the compensation you are entitled to.