SIMI VALLEY, Calif. –At least 36 people were treated at Simi Valley-area hospitals after a major malfunction at a Fourth of July fireworks display sent pyrotechnics shooting into a crowd of spectators, hospital officials said Friday.
Two people remain hospitalized in fair condition; a third patient was taken to Grossman Burn Center, but that person’s condition was not immediately known.
Simi Valley police initially said 28 people were injured, including 20 who were transported by ambulance to area hospitals. Additional victims sought treatment on their own. The injuries included burns, shrapnel, trampling and chest pains.
The mishap caused at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Park happened at about 9:20 p.m.
“Obviously what happened is, we had a severe malfunction in one of these devices,” Lindberry said. “We want to find out why it happened — was it equipment, was it faulty, was it loaded improperly.”
Amid the chaos, Ventura County firefighters set up a triage center in the park, where they treated adults and children, many of them hit by flying debris.
Annisa Wynn, who witnessed the accident told KTLA News the explosion happened about two minutes into the show.
Fireworks suddenly began shooting sideways into the crowd, instead of up in the air, she said.
“The fireworks were so close, you could see them on the ground,” Wynn said. “It never happens this way. People were screaming.”
Fire officials told KTLA News between 8,000 and 10,000 people were watching the show when the accident happened.