A man lost most of his right hand in a fireworks accident in Leesburg earlier this month, according to Lake County deputies.
The incident occurred at a home on the 2500 block of Virginia Drive.
Witnesses told deputies that while in the home’s garage, the man tried to re-light a mortar-style firework that he thought was a “dud.” He picked it up and attempted to throw it into the driveway when it exploded, a Sheriff’s Office report said.
Police believe it either exploded in his hand or near his hand. He had to be transported to a specialty facility.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2014 there were at least 11 nonoccupational fireworks-related deaths, and an estimated 10,500 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. Nearly 74 percent of those injured by fireworks were men or boys.
Under Florida state law, only sparklers, approved by the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal, are legal for consumer usage. It is illegal to use exploding and/or flying fireworks in Florida, which include: shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, Roman candles, rockets and firecrackers.
It is important to note that you should never attempt to re-light, alter or fix any “dud” firework. If a firework fails to function when ignited, it is best to let it stand for at least five minutes, then immerse it in water. The item failed to function for some reason, so if you try to light it again, you could create a dangerous situation. It is best to dispose of the item properly, so that you and everyone nearby stays free from harm.