A Fourth of July fireworks show at a public park in Simi Valley, Calif., had been going on for just a couple minutes when something went horribly wrong. According to witnesses, fireworks started shooting into the crowd of 8,000 to 10,000 spectators, leaving 28 people injured with burns or shrapnel-type injuries. There were, thankfully, no reported deaths. (Watch a news report above.)
"There was a big boom. Everybody started running down the street. People were screaming," Justice Allen, 17, tells the Los Angeles Times. "Everybody was just terrified. People hid in bushes."
What happened? Apparently, the platform being used to stage the extravaganza collapsed, sending a few fireworks sideways. Police have preliminarily ruled it an industrial accident. A Ventura County Sheriff Department bomb squad defused the remaining rockets.
This being the age of smartphone cameras and YouTube, the explosion was captured in multiple amateur videos. This one captures the sense of normalcy being shattered. "That wasn't supposed to happen," says one man:
Here, the explosion is a little farther away, and it almost looks cinematic:
This video, from about 50 feet away, is the most dramatic of the bunch. It looks (and sounds) like a war zone:
In this final clip, overlooking the fireworks extravaganza from a nearby hill, you see that the show went on, at least for a minute or so. The explosions come in the first seconds of the video, and then you just get a normal panorama of people enjoying an otherwise normal Fourth of July spectacle:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- 10 burning questions you've always wanted to ask about investing
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- What these custom, 3D-printed earphones say about the future of consumer technology
- 10 things you need to know today: July 22, 2014
Subscribe to the Week