Fireworks Shows Gone Wrong: 10 Horrible Accidents (Video)

San Diego's misfire

Not all fireworks shows have been festive — a look at 10 that went terribly awry, many resulting in serious injuries.

The Fourth of July may be all about family, food, fun and fireworks — but not all holiday celebrations have been quite so festive.

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As the videos below show, fireworks mishaps are not uncommon. Some have caused serious injuries, and others have merely resulted in a highly abbreviated display, but they were all presumably quite terrifying for those involved.

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Salt Lake City Display

A computer failure resulted in fireworks being shot into the crowd, and 10 people were hurt.


Simi Valley Misfire
At a 2013 Fourth of July celebration, 28 people were injured when a fireworks display went awry in the Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley. According to KCBS, several of the devices accidentally detonated. The event quickly ended. Subsequently, 20 people were taken to local hospitals, and the crowd was instructed to exit the premises immediately. In a video posted by a spectator, a man can be heard saying, “That wasn’t supposed to happen.”





San Diego Explosion

In 2012, San Diego had planned an 18-minute fireworks show. But a technical mishap caused all of the fireworks to explode at once — and the show lasted all of 30 seconds.


Iowa Glitch

Similar to the San Diego incident, a computer error caused a show in Coralville, Iowa, to last only about a minute. Nobody was hurt, but the local news reported that the exceedingly short show cost the city about $12,000.


Pennsylvania Injuries

A celebration resulted in 11 people getting sent to the hospital in Palmyra, Pa., in 2010. The fireworks display at a middle-school stadium got out of control and burned several people who happened to be too close to the display. "All I remember is a blinding flash of light, and me running around saying I'm hit," one of the victims told the local ABC news reporter.


San Jose Giants Accident

Fireworks began exploding on the ground and firing off into the crowd of spectators during this 2012 July Fourth accident.


Virginia Mishap

In 2007, in Vienna, Va., the crowd was watching the grand finale when they noticed that something was going wrong on the ground. "That's not right," a woman can be heard saying several times, once the spectators realized what was going on.


Texas Debacle

On July 4, 2010, a fireworks display at Texas' Medina Lake went awry. In the video uploaded to YouTube, a user noted that nobody got hurt, but added: "I will never forget this Independence Day!"


Chinese New Year Celebration

Celebrating the Chinese New Year 2012, spectators in central Thailand witnessed a fireworks explosion that sparked a fire that burned at least 20 homes, killed three people and injured many more.


Hot Air Balloon Disaster

Every year, the city of Taunggyi, Myanmar, holds the Tazaungdine Lighting Festival. One of the highlights is hot air balloons firing off rocket fireworks at night. But one year, one of the balloons barely got off the ground when disaster struck. A fire started and all of the fireworks began going off into the crowd (many of whom actually stuck around to record the entire disaster).