A fireworks display in Spain went horribly wrong and left 28 people injured. A rogue firework set off thousands of others in a church bell tower in the city of Elche. The explosion caused several injuries as fiery sparks and burning material fell down upon festival attendees.
An Elche town Hall spokeswoman said that the fireworks, which are designed to shoot 328 yards in the air, were being covered in a protective blanket, but that didn't stop them from going off when one firework hit the bunch and set them off a few minutes before they were to go off at midnight, according to The Press Association.
The display was a beautiful sight to watch, but it was extremely dangerous. The incident injured 28 people. Three firework operators were hospitalized due to serious burns while 25 other people were treated for minor injuries. One worker, Vicente Albarranch received burns over 60 percent of his body.
In a statement on La Verdad, as translated by Google, the city's mayor was deeply sorry for this incident. "Gunpowder played a dirty trick," Mayor Mercedes Alonso said. "We regret what happened and we assume our responsibility."
The fireworks display was part of Nit de l'Alba (Night of the Dawn. The festival, held on August 13, celebrates the Virgin of the Assumption. On this night, a city-wide fireworks display takes place. The city often cuts off the power supply so the sky is dark enough for what is usually a beautiful display.
People set off rockets all around the city on bridges, buildings, balconies, terraces, which may explain why a stray firework accidentally set off the thousands of rockets in the church tower. The fireworks are set off for about an hour until a large white starburst firework is released form the Basilica Santa Maria at midnight. Once this is set off, the city lights are turned back on and the image of the Virgin is displayed in flares on the Basilica's tower.
This isn't the first time an entire fireworks display went off at once. On the 4th of July, the entire 20 minute Big Bay Boom display in San Franciso went off in 15 seconds.