MUSCATINE, Iowa. (KWQC) - First responders are talking about a terrible fireworks accident in Muscatine that badly injured three people, including one man who lost his hand. In addition to the man who lost his hand, another lost several fingers, and a third has facial injuries.
Castle Fireworks in Muscatine sells fireworks, shown are mortar fireworks.
First responders say this incident was 100% preventable. They're hoping to remind everyone to stay safe because this was an unexpected moment for Muscatine.
"This is the most significant accident we've had in the city," said Battalion Chief Darrell Janssen. He says it's unusual to have a fireworks injury as serious as someone losing a hand, but it's fortunate we don't see it more often.
"I am not surprised. Maybe a little more surprised that we don't see more of it just because of the intensity of fireworks" he says the fireworks we see nowadays with the new laws are more powerful than some in the past.
The firework used in the accident was a mortar firework, sold for anywhere between 25 and 100 dollars.
Operations manager of Castle Fireworks in Muscatine said mortar fireworks "go higher, they're prettier and span a wider diameter than the other stuff. That's why people love em."
This is not the first accident with a mortar firework. Another happened recently in Cedar County, and it was fatal. The State Fire Marshal is investigating the death.
"The man looked into the mortar, a dud. It hit him in the face and killed him. Again, common sense would tell you don't look into a mortar tube. That could've been avoided" said Police Sargeant Chad Said.
Compton was not anticipating injuries from fourth of July celebrations: "surprised, you know. But when you don't use common sense with something, accidents happen. We don't ever want people to get hurt, we still want to provide a product to people that want it and like it."
On the night of July 4th, Muscatine had over 25 calls come in about fireworks going off after the time allotted. Chief Said shared, "it's been that way every year that the 4th of July is over and it's not done with. Yet we'll be going to fireworks calls all weekends long."
as a reminder, fireworks are not allowed anymore in Iowa this summer.
You can check with your city to find out what the restrictions are where you live.
Muscatine city council made a post on facebook saying they are open to the idea of a public referendum to allow the people of Muscatine to decide on the issue of firework legality by a vote.