Another July 4th has come and gone and that means we can report the same story reported every year since the invention of pyrotechnics – people who decided to hold fireworks or aim them at others and then were inevitably maimed, burned or killed. It’s as American as apple pie, and about as intelligent as the average pie, too!
First up, out of Maine, a 22 year old man was celebrating the birth of a nation with beers and explosives with some friends when inspiration struck. How better to celebrate the memory and the dream of the Founding Fathers than by placing a mortar-like firework on his head and lighting it.
One of the man’s friends was at least aware that this was a terrible idea and tried to talk him out of it, but of course that didn’t happen. So instead he lit it and died instantly, because you can’t put an explosive charge on your head no matter how cool you think it will be.
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On the slightly more famous side of things, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was reported to have an injury to his hand that might be either incredibly severe or no big deal at all depending on what story you believe, but all of them point out it was caused by him using fireworks. As in he was holding fireworks in his hand and they exploded. At least that’s what people are saying, but this one changes so much from report to report we might find out later in the week his hand just went numb because he sat on it while watching fireworks. Who knows?
Less hilariously stupid and more sad is the story of two boys near Boston who were playing with an M16 firecracker and suffered severe injuries as a result of it exploding. The older boy lost his hand while the younger was injured in the face and arms as a result. When you live in a world where adults think it’s hilarious to set them off on their heads, it’s no wonder kids do dumb stuff with firecrackers, too.
In Texas, a woman sustained serious burns and a man lost a chunk of his hand in two separate fireworks related accidents. The woman was apparently standing over a device that went off, hopefully she wasn’t aware it was there at first, while the man was obviously holding his while it went off. Both were airlifted to local hospitals to be treated for severe burns and trauma.
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In New Jersey, a man lost part of his leg after lighting a firework described as being “tennis ball sized” which then exploded on the ground and knocked him back about four feet while causing second and third degree burns to his leg. This proves, once again, you should probably never be holding the fireworks in your hand at any time during the lighting process.
In Florida, one man lost his hand above the wrist because guess why. Go on, you know the answers. Yeah, he was holding onto the fireworks and lit them and they exploded because that’s exactly what happens when you light something that explodes. It explodes. Hopefully one day someone rounds up these people and makes a quick video where they all answer “what were you thinking?” It’d be interesting to see if anyone actually thought it would exploded and, if not, why not?
Every year there are a few hundred injuries across the country from 4th of July fireworks. We have no firm stats on this year yet, but give it time. Lost limbs, eyes, severe burns. It’s always the same. Happy 4th of July everyone, try to safely enjoy the rest of your summer.