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San Diego Fireworks FAIL: What Went Wrong?

After the fireworks fail seen around the world, the New Jersey company behind the spectacular, 4th of July dud in San Diego says it will do a make-up show if local organizers request one.

August Santore, co-owner of Garden State Fireworks, told the Weekly this was the first time such a failure has happened the company's 122 years.

He blamed software that is used by many other companies, including Disneyworld and Seaworld:

The program was scripted by our company specifically for San Diego to be choreographed to the music. The computer reads it and sends signals when you want something to fire.

Four minutes before the show, he says, engineers started the program as scheduled, which normally would have triggered fireworks on three barges in San Diego Bay and at the Imperial Beach Pier to the south, starting at 9 p.m.

Santore:

We sent the signal to start the program running. At four minutes, it came to a first test to light an igniter at each location so we see a little match pop to see everything's fine. But instead everything opened up. All the masters fired. The pyro worked 100 percent. Unfortunately it all worked at the same time.

Santore said he hasn't gotten much sleep since the 4th. His engineers stayed up until 4 a.m. that night trying to figure out exactly what went wrong and how to prevent it in the future:

We accept the responsibility. We don't accept failure and we'll get to the bottom of it. We certainly feel bad for all the people who went out there to see it. It would have been the most spectactular show San Diego ever had.

In the mean time, the company is offering a makeup show.

It's up to the Port of San Diego and "Big Bay Boom" organizers wheter to accept the offer, but 10 News in San Diego says the 15-minute show would be hard to recreate:

[Warning: NSFW language]:

... The pyrotechnic display only makes up about $125,000 of the roughly $400,000 cost of the event, leaving the city to cover about $275,000.

Most of the money for the Big Bay Boom comes from sponsors, including hotels and restaurants, who want the event to be a success because they stand to make money off of the thousands of people who flock to San Diego to see the show.

The Port of San Diego is also a sponsor, paying $145,000 this year, in addition to regular operating costs for things like extra police officers and post-fireworks clean up.

Santore admits it would be quite an undertaking:

It's not going to take place in 10 days or 30 days. Logistically there's a lot involved. You can't just go produce the show over again tomorrow.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]