NC Fireworks Accident Kills Four in Small Outer Banks Town
Posted on Jul 10, 2009
Although Independence Day is a time to celebrate our freedoms and our country, the holiday is sometimes made deadly by fireworks accidents. This was the case last Saturday in Ocracoke, North Carolina, where four people died while unloading a truck full of fireworks on the Outer Banks' docks of the small island.
All four workers were employed by Melrose South Pyrotechnics - a company that has suffered another fatal accident and injuries in their past. In 2001, a fireworks factory worker died while unpacking fireworks, resulting in a large fine from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In addition, two years ago two workers from the same company were injured when fireworks exploded prematurely.
Witnesses of the explosion reported hearing a small pop followed by an enormous blast. The truck held enough fireworks for a 40-minute public fireworks display. One worker was killed instantly in the blast, while three others died later at a local hospital. In addition, two firemen were injured in the North Carolina fireworks accident who were on the scene as a safety precaution before the explosion took place - one is in fair condition in a nearby hospital burn center, another is being treated for smoke inhalation.
An initial investigation by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lead agents to believe that the explosion was accidental.