1 injured when fireworks display ignites early in Bridgeview

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A contractor was injured when the fireworks display he was setting up for the village of Bridgeview ignited Sunday afternoon.

About 1 p.m., the contractor was setting up fireworks for the village’s annual Fourth of July display planned for Sunday evening in Commissioners Park, 8110 S. Ferdinand Ave., according to village spokesman Ray Hanania. The contractor was loading aerial firework shells into a launch tube, when one of the shells ignited as it was being placed inside.

Friction could have caused the firework to ignite, Hanania said. It caused a chain reaction, setting off the rest of the display. The contractor severely burned his hand, but his injuries were not life-threatening. He was the only person injured, and his condition was not immediately known.

About $12,000 in fireworks ignited ahead of the Fourth of July display — planned to be about 25 minutes long — in a short period of time, Hanania said.

“That’s a big fireworks display,” he said.

The fireworks were being set up inside a safe-zone, according to Hanania, and posed no safety risk to the pubic. Minimal damage, except a small fire near where the display ignited, was reported.

“This is a tragic reminder of just how dangerous fireworks can be, even for professionals who do this for a living,” Hanania said.

Sunday evening’s scheduled fireworks performance was canceled, Hanania said. The village and Bridgeview Park District will discuss whether it will be rescheduled at a later date.