NEWARK (CBS SF) — A Newark teenager suffered a badly mangled left hand late Tuesday night when a mortar-style firework exploded prematurely just as he was tossing it, according to witnesses and police.
Newark Police Capt. Chomnan Loth said officers were on fireworks patrol in a Newark neighborhood when they saw a crowd gathered around the injured teen at about 10:45 p.m.
“He was sitting in a chair,” he said. “There was a crowd around him…He had suffered a traumatic hand injury.”
One of the officers place a torniquet on the hand to slow the bleeding until an emergency crew could arrive and transport him to the hospital.
Riccardo Myers was among the group of young men lighting off the fireworks in the neighborhood.
“We were all having fun, popping off fireworks,” he told KPIX 5. “It was a group of late teens and 20s… We just started surrounding this one kid after a big explosion…One of his hands was basically blown off and he only had like two limbs (fingers) on the other one.”
Myers said the mortar-style firework was supposed to be shot out of a tube, but the teen attempted to throw it instead and it went off.
“It was an illegal firework,” he said. “They are not meant to be handled in your hand. They are meant to be put into a tube and shot into the air. He tried to handle it with his hand and light the wick at the same time. Unfortunately, it went off right when he let it go.”
Loth said the teen would not be facing any charges related to the incident. His identity and condition were not immediately released.