Beds, Herts & Bucks

Stray firework injures 20 at Leighton Buzzard display

About 20 people, including several children, were hurt when a firework hit a crowd at a display in Bedfordshire.

The firework misfired and hit people in the 100-strong crowd at an organised display at the scout hut in Grovebury Road, Leighton Buzzard, on Monday.

Those hurt suffered burns and cuts and ranged from a six-year-old to a woman, 43, who suffered serious leg injuries.

The casualties were all taken to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital for treatment.

Seven ambulances from Leighton Buzzard and Luton were called out.

Jennifer Solesbury, who was at the display with her son, said she saw the firework coming towards her.

Flash burns

"It was just like a white, bright light," she said.

"I picked up my son who was standing with me and threw him out of the way.

"He got flash burns on his hand and my friend was blown off her feet and there was screaming and the organisers came running to everyone's aid."

Ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson said: "We believe the firework went off and flew into the crowd watching the display.

"People suffered burns to their faces, back and legs.

"Most of the injuries were superficial burns. People had a lucky escape. It could have been much worse."

The Scout Association, which organised the display, said that a firework "deviated from its planned path", but the main body of it was stopped from going into the crowd by a specially placed barrier.

It said the organised display in the town had been running tor ten years without incident.

It added that its members would now work with the authorities to see if any lessons could be learnt.

Bedfordshire Police said the Health and Safety Executive had been informed.

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