Twenty-eight people were hurt when a Southern California fireworks display literally went sideways and pyrotechnic devices hit a crowd, causing some if not many to sustain facial injuries, authorities said.

It happened shortly after the show began at 9 tonight at Rancho Santa Susana Community Park in Simi Valley, a Ventura County community north of Los Angeles.

Officials were calling it an accidental detonation, but the exact cause of the 4th of July mishap wasn't immediately clear.

A Ventura County Fire Department dispatcher told the Weekly the final total for the number of “patients” seen by rescuers was 28, with 20 taken to hospitals and four those seriously injured.

The department received its first report of a problem at the event at 9:18 p.m., the dispatcher said.

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The Ventura County Star reported this account of what happened:

Steve Williams, a park ranger with the Rancho Simi Recreation and Parks District, said that in opening minutes of the show, some fireworks went sideways instead of straight up.

Capt. Mike Lindbery told Fox 11 News rescue crews were already staged at the scene as a precaution typical of large public events.

Some witnesses posted video:

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