When I was a kid mom worked at the hospital, so I knew pretty much all the happenings going on there.There was a fatal firework accident in my city last night and the news reported an 11 year old was killed by one in the Southern Part of the state.
Yes they are fun, but they are still explosives. Treat them with the same respect you treat a loaded gun.
Several years ago I had a 3" shell misfire during a handlit show. It burst right as it left the mortar and right at the level of my shoulder. I was wearing firefighting turnout gear, a nomex hood, leather firefighting gloves, boots, and a hardhat with a face screen. I had my back to the mortar rack, crouched low, but maybe 2 feet away from the mortar. One star came under my screen and burned by cheek through the nomex hood. The turnout coat had burns along the back and I had no injuries under the coat. The hardhat had several dents in the back where it was hit by stars.
This was only a 3" shell - reloadeable shells sold in stores are 1.75" and the preloaded ones can be 2.25". All in all, the PPE and positioning worked as it was supposed to. I ended up with what amounted to a cigarette burn to a cheek. Imagine the same failure happening to someone without proper training and PPE.
4th of July show was put on by the local volunteer Fire Dept.
This particular one was at the high school. I vividly remember on of those mortars exploding just as it did with you just as the individual lit it. He was hit full on, full force at ground level.
I don’t remember if he had the full fire gear on, but I do know he spent several weeks in the hospital afterwords.