Malfunctioning fireworks injure 10 people

ROY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A city-wide firework show that turned dangerous has sparked quite the controversy.

Michael Roberts says his life literally flashed before his eyes.

"I wondered if we needed to run. I was trying to gauge that--if they were coming towards us. Then I could tell they weren't coming towards us, so I stood up to see if other people needed help," Roberts recalled.

This one-of-a-kind firework show was the culminating event of this year's 'Roy Days.' The annual celebration brings in at least 10,000 people.

"The spectators loved it. They cheered, they laughed, they had a great time," said Jason Poulsen, Fire Chief of Roy City Fire Dept.

The firework show started with a bang, but for all the wrong reasons. Fireworks exploded on the ground, igniting several glowing grassfires.

"We had brush trucks and engines parked there just in case--which, I'm glad we did, because we needed them," said Poulsen.

But all the while, the show continued on.

"They just kept it going and music playing, as you see golf carts fly by and some firetrucks and ambulances," laughed Roberts.

"Why did the show continue after those fires started?" Good 4 Utah's Ali Monsen asked Poulsen.

"Yeah, that's a really great question..." Poulsen said. "We felt very comfortable that the people that were placed could put the fire out in a timely manner, and they did," he said, referring to the fire personnel.

Little did anyone know, the big finale was yet to come.

"We had a mortar that shot. It probably hit another mortar in the air, deflected it, and sent it horizontally, instead of up in the air," Poulsen explained.

Ten people walked away with minor injuries.

"Just yeah, superficial little tiny spot burns," Poulsen clarified.

Fire authorities say they came prepared and kept everyone at a distance for this very reason.

"We measured out extra feet just to make sure they were okay. We had paramedics and firefighters there at a quick notice," said Poulsen.

Still, Roberts says he is left with a lot of questions.

"By my count, seven fireworks malfunctioned in one show... and then the fact that they didn't stop the show is also strange to me," Roberts explained. "So It does make you wonder if there were protocols that weren't followed," he said.

Why the fireworks exploded in the first place remains a mystery. Fire Authorities say they the batch could have been old, but that is all still under investigation.

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