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Another Professional Fireworks Show Goes Wrong: Ojai Pyrotechnics Expert Badly Burned

(Photo by Mikhail Kolesnikov/Shutterstock)
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A 32-year-old pyrotechnics technician was seriously burned during a Fourth of July fireworks show in Ojai in which a firework exploded on the ground.

The man, who has not been identified, suffered injuries to his left leg, arm and face during the ground-level explosion of a pyrotechnic device, Erika Monterroza, a spokeswoman for Cal-OSHA, which is investigating the incident, told the LA Daily News.

"The firework exploded on the ground rather than going off vertically," she said of the show, which was held at Nordhoff High School.

It sounds all too similar to the much more disastrous Simi Valley fireworks show, where 36 people were injured when fireworks shot into the crowd rather than the sky.

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A YouTube video of the show, uploaded by Mike Madden, shows a blast much lower than the rest at about the nine minute mark. You can hear Madden exclaim, "Uh oh, that's bad times."

The injured technician was first taken to Ventura County Medical Center in Ventura, then transferred to Grossman Burn Center in West Hills, the Daily News reports.

Fire Engineer Bill Reynolds told the Ventura County Star that the man sustained "extensive injuries over most of his body."

Officials have not yet said what caused the malfunction, which resulted in the show being canceled 15 minutes early.

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Reynolds, who worked on an engine company that monitors the area around the high school for any fires, described the fireworks malfunction to the Ventura County Star as a "low-level ignition."

"We were chatting, there was a lot of noise and hubbub as the show started, but when it happened it was obvious to everyone that something happened," Reynolds said.

The 20-year-veteran said he's never seen anything like it before. He said it took at least two minutes for firefighters and paramedics to reach the injured operator through the crowd.

Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Tom Kruschke said a professional pyrotechnics company had been hired for the fireworks show, although they have not released the company's name.

Video: Fireworks Misfire Into Crowd At Simi Valley Extravaganza [UPDATED]