LOS ANGELES, July 5, 2013—Most Americans from Los Angeles to New York saw beautiful fireworks displays at around 9pm in their respective time zones. Yet about an hour North of Los Angeles in Simi Valley, the fireworks display became a nightmare.
Simi Valley is known for the Ronald Reagan presidential library, where freedom carries a special meaning. Yet on this night, a spectacular display meant to be worthy of a president went spectacularly wrong.
As one first responder pointed out, the initial fireworks set off went laterally instead of vertically. While it looked beautiful, people soon realized that the fireworks were being set off way too low to the ground. This set off the entire set of fireworks all at once.
From a distance, it looked like a gorgeous display worthy of a finale. Yet up close it was the beginning and end of a show gone horribly awry. About twenty people were injured, although thankfully nobody died. Police, firefighters, and other first responders were on the scene during the display in case anything were to malfunction. It did, and they sprung into action.
As of Thursday night, there were no explanations for exactly what went wrong. Yet for the many people screaming, crying, and fleeing the scene, Independence Day may not see some of these people at outdoor fireworks displays ever again.
Police across the nation have been cracking down hard on illegal fireworks displays due to the high risk of injuries. The Simi Valley debacle was a sober reminder that even with professionally managed displays, accidents can happen.
Fireworks, like a fire, can be very beautiful and calming when controlled. Yet when control is lost, there are very few elements as dangerous.
Triage units were being set up to comfort the victims, most of whom suffered minor injuries. The psychological scars will be tougher, especially for children confronted with horror on what should be one of the most joyful days in the American calendar.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, and satirist. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.
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