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2013 Simi Valley Independence Day Fireworks Accident, At Least 36 Hurt – Multiple Views of Accident

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Last night when all of the people in my dad’s neighborhood were out busting off what sounded like Class B fireworks, Simi Valley, California experienced a bit of bad fireworks juju, injuring at least 36 people for burns and other related injuries.  From the videos of the accident, you’ll notice a mortar shell flower-potting (which means it explodes either inside of the tube, or right as the propellant charge reaches the open air at the top of the tube), which then tipped over other mortar tubes, shooting shells right into the crowd and igniting other tubes.  Amazing, isn’t it?  Entertainment is a bigger/better/faster/harder business, and when something goes wrong, it always really goes wrong.

From an article at the LA Times, bolding is mine:

At least 36 people were injured or treated at Simi Valley-area hospitals after a major malfunction at a fireworks display sent pyrotechnics shooting into a crowd of spectators.

An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people were gathered at Rancho Santa Susana Community Park in Simi Valley Thursday to watch the show when, officials believe, at least one pyrotechnic prematurely exploded in a mortar, causing a chain reaction that tipped over other fireworks and launched them into the crowd of spectators.

Simi Valley police initially said 28 people were injured, including 20 who were taken by ambulance to area hospitals. Additional victims sought treatment on their own.

Simi Valley Hospital treated 26 patients, 14 of which came in by ambulance, according to hospital spokeswoman Alicia Gonzalez. The patients ranged in age from 17 months to 71 years, and 12 were children, she said.

Twenty-three patients have been treated and released, she said. One was transported to an area burn center. Two remained at Simi Valley Hospital on Friday morning, but were listed in fair condition.

The injuries included burns, shrapnel, trampling wounds and chest pains, Gonzalez said.

I’m glad to hear of ZERO fatalities.  Wounds may take time to heal, but that time can at least be filled with love.

Check out some video of this accident — the initial flower-pot explosion starts a chain reaction of disaster that everyone close to is lucky to have lived through.

This is the most incredible view of the accident — just the magnitude of that size mortar shell exploding at ground level is almost unbelievably scary:

From ABC News:

A different ABC News affiliate, incredible video of the display:

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Established and accredited fireworks company Bay Fireworks from Bethpage, NY was contracted to perform the Simi Valley fireworks display this year.  Bay has assured news outlets that their employees are highly qualified; we here at JimOnLight just hope that the Bay Fireworks crews from the Simi Valley event are all safe and secure, too.

Images of the cleanup and investigation today (July 5, 2013):

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a destroyed mortar shell from July 4th’s Simi Valley Fireworks accident

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Police and investigators examine the damage, from July 4th’s Simi Valley Fireworks accident

Simi Valley Fireworks Mishap

The moment of explosion on ground level, from July 4th’s Simi Valley Fireworks accident

Have you ever seen the setups for fireworks displays?  There are some massive displays out there — the one here from last night in Peoria, IL was also pretty massive:

When I mention “mortars,” I’m talking about a tube that a fireworks shell goes into that guides it upwards — the desired effect.  These images are from fireworks displays across the world — notice the common theme of pipes and tubes?  The older industry way of setting up displays like this was with steel pipes (which would probably have avoided last night’s disaster in Simi Valley), but the common usage mortar tube is now PVC or other plastic resin.  Like so:

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Thanks to the LA Times, Larry Crump’s Fireworks Pages, and Reuters.

Explosions Reported Near the Boston Marathon Finish Line

Video of the explosion:

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Oh, this is not good.  Explosions were reported near the scene of the Boston Marathon just now — for a live feed of the video, http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013-boston-marathon-finish-line/

http://boston.cbslocal.com/live-video/ if the first link doesn’t work.

The reports say that there are injuries near the finish line — there are lots of Entertainment pros down there doing the video and production, let’s hope they’re all safe.  Please let them all be safe.

From CBC News:

Two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon have resulted in injuries.

Bloody spectators were being carried Monday to the medical tent that had been set up to care for fatigued runners. Police wove through competitors as they ran back toward the course.

“There are a lot of people down,” said one man, whose bib No. 17528 identified him as Frank Deruyter of North Carolina.

He was not injured, but marathon workers were carrying one woman, who did not appear to be a runner, to the medical area as blood gushed from her leg. A Boston police officer was wheeled from the course with a leg injury that was bleeding.

About three hours after the winners crossed the line, there was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line.

Sorry for the Fox News link for video, that’s all there was when I posted.  CBS is reporting missing limbs, blood, deaths, and major injuries.  Fuck.

PLEASE BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, brothers and sisters.

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photo credit

New Footage of the Demolition of the Famous Texas Stadium

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Now that I’m no longer at CAST, I’ve had time to start digging through the massive backlog of videos and other content I haven’t had time to get online.

Thanks to my friend Jessica Amspoker who was working pyro on the event on April 11, 2010, I have video footage of the fireworks ceremony and demolition of the famous Texas Stadium, where many a concert played in its history, as well as being the home arena of the Dallas Cowboys for a long time.  Check it out!

New Footage of the Demolition of the Famous Texas Stadium from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

A friend working on the pyro crew for the event was able to capture some excellent video of the April 11, 2010 morning demo of the famous Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. Enjoy, and check back on JimOnLight.com for more awesome videos!

…and on YouTube, if you prefer that:

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UPDATE:  This footage below isn’t mine, but it’s from the inside of the Texas Stadium as it’s being demolished by explosives!

AWESOME!

Nighttime Transformer Explosions in Fort Worth, Texas

Have you seen this video? If not, stop what you’re doing right now and watch. Amazing. Tragic, but amazing. From the Youtube site of user Brian Luenser, who recorded and posted the video:

This is the aftermath of a pretty brutal thunderstorm in Fort Worth Texas on May 10, 2011. It was taken from my balcony on the 34th floor of a building in Fort Worth. Though I thought we were at war or was terrorism, it was a massive series of downed 7,200 volt power lines. As I took it with my 70-200 2.8L IS lens, it is farther away than it looks. (it is 5 miles away) That is why there are not explosion sounds. This was a very well documented event. I was on my balcony to take lightning pictures (Yes, not smart) and this started happening in front of me. I turned my camera (Canon 5d MkII) to video mode and let it roll.

Crazy. There’s a bit more about the video there and the way it was recorded, too. The colors are absolutely beautiful. Almost unbelievable.

Watch, totally worth it:

RGB Color Mixing with Atmospheric Nuclear Explosions

A cool dude named Kjetil from Twitter (@kjeik) sent me this pretty awesome and scary video from NPR – back in 1962 the United States did some atmospheric nuclear weapons testing.  It was broadcast in the news that it was going to be a neat display of color and light, so people in Hawaii sat out on their patios and watched it happen.

Crazy.

A Very Scary Light Show: Exploding H-Bombs In Space from NPR on Vimeo.

204 Bottle Rockets. Enough said.

I know that July 4th is over, but I had no internet! I am just now catching up on some excellent stuff!

Check out this video, I found it on Make. This guy 200k 204 bottle rockets and fired them off at the same time. This is the kind of stuff I would do if I had 204 bottle rockets. This is also why I don’t have 204 bottle rockets.