The New Jersey company that produced last night's injurious fireworks show in Simi Valley today expressed regret for the accident. It was the second mishap in as many years that involved East Coast companies producing 4th of July displays in Southern California.
The Garden State company stated that it would conduct its own investigation regarding what went wrong when pyrotechnics devices shot sideways into the crowd instead of skyward, leading to injuries for more than 28 spectators:
Bay Fireworks, deeply regrets that people were injured during the Simi Valley fireworks display. Public safety has always been a major priority of Bay Fireworks. The highly qualified staff of Bay Fireworks is trained on a regular basis in the procedures to properly set up and discharge a fireworks display. Our equipment has been inspected and approved by the authorities. Our displays, like the one in Simi Valley, are properly permitted through the local authorities having jurisdiction.
The company asked that injured people seeking insurance compensation contact the Simi Valley Rotary Club, which would be in touch with Bay Fireworks.
The Ventura County Fire Department, meanwhile, sticks by its numbers of 28 injured, with 20 of those taken to hospitals by its paramedics, but Capt. Mike Lindbery tells us that there were a few more people who drove themselves to hospitals.
Injuries following the 9:18 p.m. 4th of July accident included facial wounds and some broken bones as a result of trampling, he said.
Investigators were done taking photographs of the scene and combing through physical evidence today at Rancho Santa Susana Community Park in Simi Valley, Lindbery said.
But cleanup was still ongoing and the park would not be reopened until that was done, he said.
This afternoon it still wasn't clear who would take the lead in the investigation: The Simi Valley Police Department has jurisdiction, with the county fire department working fires and rescues in the city via contract, Lindbery said.
The State Fire Marshal might have to determine who's in charge.
A 4th of July fireworks display in San Diego last year went wrong when all the pyrotechnic devices exploded nearly at once. No injuries were reported.
Another East Coast company, Garden State Fireworks, told us its software had likely gone haywire.