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How Did This Child Die While Playing With Fireworks?

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A tragic accident occurred in Nashville last year involving the first death caused by fireworks in more than five years. Worse, the victim was a 12-year-old boy. According to WKRN-TV, the boy picked up the firework from the ground and put it in the tube used to fire the artillery shell. Another boy lit the firework, but both boys became confused when nothing happened. The string did not spark and the firework did not shoot out and burst into color, as the children had expected.

Instinctively, the boy peered into the tube. The other boy lamented that the firework was a dud. As soon as the words were out, the firework exploded. However, it was peculiar because there was no burst of decorative color. Instead, it was only an explosion, resembling more of a small bomb than a firework display. In a panic, the child ran 30 feet away from where the firework had exploded and collapsed onto the ground. Two men worked to get the boy to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Nashville authorities worked to collect and properly dispose of the remaining 12-pack of artillery shells left at the scene, so no one else would be hurt by what could have been a pack of defective fireworks.


According to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 9,000 people sustain firework injuries every year. Granted, most of these injuries can occur due to consumer misuse, which can include igniting fireworks too close to other people or having fireworks explode while still in someone’s hand. However, the likelihood of injury occurring increases drastically when the firework is defective due to manufacturing, design or lack of safety warnings. Most injuries occur due to the following types of defective firework malfunctions:

  • Fireworks that are designed to take flight may take unpredictable flight paths, which can injure people or damage nearby buildings
  • Fireworks that are not carefully manufactured often explode prematurely, which doesn’t give time for the user to gain a safe distance from the explosion
  • Fireworks may have a delayed explosion, which may cause onlookers to approach too closely out of confusion before it explodes
  • A defective firework’s fuse may light the powders composing the fireworks in a way the manufacturer did not anticipate, which may cause a different or more dangerous type of explosion


Fireworks are inherently dangerous on their own and the injuries caused by fireworks can be devastating. Users who misuse fireworks or are victims of firework defects can lose their eyesight, sustain severe lacerations, sustain serious burns or even die.

Adults should take care to always read the directions and follow them to the letter. Parents should never let children out of their sight when letting them play with fireworks. A sparkler can cause more serious burns than one would think. If you see a defective firework, step away and do not try and relight it. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective firework, it is important you contact an attorney.

Stanley A. Davis is a personal injury attorney that fights for victims who are injured by defective products in Nashville, Tennessee

“All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13

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