PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An explosion at a private fireworks show in Park Township killed one person and injured nine others Monday night, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said.
Witnesses who were in attendance at the show spoke with News 8 Tuesday.
“It was just a typical Fourth of July, a lot of food, celebration and fireworks,” said one Holland man who didn’t want to be identified.
The man said he was one of at least 60 to 80 people at the gathering.
The explosion happened just after 11 p.m. in the 1700 block of Main Street, a dead-end street near the north side of Lake Macatawa.
Ottawa County sheriff’s deputies gave few details following the incident, saying the explosion killed a 43-year-old Holland woman and left nine others with injuries ranging from minor to critical. Deputies have not identified the woman at this time.
The explosion also damaged several cars and nearby homes. Windows of an SUV across the street were seen blown out as well.
“I don’t know if it was like a homemade firework or something somebody had and it was almost halfway through the show and it got lit somehow and it exploded, and shrapnel was everywhere,” the Holland man who attended the show said.
He said he didn’t know the woman who died. But among those injured was a close friend of his who suffered shrapnel wounds to his head and a leg. The man said he was waiting to undergo surgery. He described the chaos he witnessed after the explosion.
“It was just very all over the place, trying to help one person, then another one, just everybody not knowing what to do,” he said.
Before the incident, the fireworks show had wowed the neighborhood, lighting up the sky far above the treetops. A man whose son was putting on his own display a block over was said he was impressed.
“We were doing fireworks and we saw them so we just started a competition. And then we heard the loud boom and we knew something wasn’t right so we came here to see what was going on,” neighbor Shawn Manders said. “There’s people laying everywhere,” he said.
Mary Bishop, who lives across the street, said she heard the explosion but thought nothing of it.
“I pray for all of the victims. I wish that this hadn’t have happened, especially celebrating this great nation. And that’s really all everyone was doing,” Bishop said. “It’s a devastation that these good people are affected in this way, and the trauma will be with them the rest of their lives.”
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that fireworks accidents last year killed at least 11 people across the country and injured an estimated 10,200 others.