An accident involving illegal fireworks Friday night in San Jose cost one California man his hand, several media outlets are reporting.
Alazar Ortiz, a construction worker in his 40s, had to have his right hand amputated and lost three digits on the other, NBC Bay Area reports.
Ortiz was lighting a “professional grade explosive” when the firework exploded earlier than anticipated. He also suffered burns on his face and ears, NBC reports.
“It would have had to have been something pretty powerful,” Officer Albert Morales of the San Jose Police Department told the San Jose Mercury News.
Efforts to reach the San Jose Police Department for independent confirmation have proved unsuccessful.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides advice on fireworks safety and statistics about fireworks injuries. If you plan to use fireworks this Fourth of July, read this first.
From the CPSC:
They are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day. Yet, the thrill of fireworks can also bring pain, and even death. In 2011, CPSC staff conducted a study of fireworks injuries from June 17 to July 17. Here’s what we learned.
200 people on average go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.
65% of these fireworks injuries in 2011 occurred during the month surrounding July 4th.
Illegal and homemade fireworks were involved in all 4 fireworks-related deaths reported to CPSC in 2011
Most Injured Body Parts
46%: Hands and fingers
17%: Heads, faces, and ears
More than half the injuries were burns.
Injuries by Fireworks Type
14%: Reloadable Shells
7%: Roman Candles
6%: Bottle Rockets
2%: Multiple Tubes
3%: Public Display
Injuries by Age
Injuries by Gender
Males were most injured from firecrackers, sparklers, bottle rockets, novelty devices, Roman candles, and reloadable shells.
Fireworks Safety Tips
Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks
Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying our using them.
Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
California Man Loses Hand in Firework Blast.