North Carolina Fireworks Explosion Kills Four People Killed on July 4

July 6, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

Four people are dead from injuries they sustained on July 4 in Ocracoke when a truck filled with fireworks exploded. The four victims were workers who were preparing for an Outer Banks celebration for the 4th of July.

According to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigators, the fireworks blast was an accident that occurred while the fireworks show was being set up. The tractor-trailer was loaded with enough fireworks for a 22-minute program.

One of the victims sustained serious burn in injuries from the North Carolina fireworks accident and was flown to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville. He died on Monday. Another fireworks victim died at the accident scene. A third victim was taken to UNC-Chapel Hill Jaycee Burn Center.

The company in charge of setting up the fireworks for the Ocracoke show was Melrose South Pyrotechnics, which is located in Catawba, South Carolina. Company officials say they are working with investigators to determine the cause of the deadly blast.

Fireworks Injuries
According to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, almost 7,000 people in the US had to go to hospital emergency rooms in 2008 because they sustained a fireworks injury. At least 11 people were killed in fireworks accidents in 2007. Almost 2/3rds of these injuries occurred within the one-month period around the 4th of July.

Common kinds of fireworks injuries include:

• Burn injuries
• Eye injuries
• Hand injuries
• Leg injuries

If you or someone you love was injured in a North Carolina fireworks accident, you may be entitled to personal injury or wrongful death recovery. Even if you were a worker injured while setting up a fireworks display, there may be third parties that can be held liable for the harm you have suffered. You also may be entitled to receive North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits.

Companies and premise owners charged with overseeing a fireworks display or any other event are responsible for making sure that there are no hazardous conditions on the premise that could cause injuries or death. Otherwise, they could be held liable for North Carolina premises liability.

4 in Outer Banks Die In Fireworks Accident, Washington Post, July 6, 2009

Death Toll Rises in Fireworks Blast, NY TImes, July 5, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Fireworks-Related Injuries, CDC

CPSC Announces Drop in Fireworks-Related Injuries; Consumers Still Urged To Celebrate Safe This July 4th,, June 30, 2009


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