Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

'Freak' fireworks: Apology after display in Oxgangs Brae goes wrong

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Media captionAll the fireworks went off at once after a rocket misfired

Organisers have apologised after a firework display went wrong in Edinburgh.

A rocket at the Pentland Community Centre display misfired and ricocheted into the remaining fireworks, setting them all off at the same time.

The community centre said it was a freak accident but it would be reviewing safety procedures.

A girl suffered a burn to the side of her face and was taken to Edinburgh's Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

However, no-one was seriously injured in the incident at Oxgangs Brae.

Footage of the event, which took place on Monday evening, has been posted on YouTube.

It is understood that £2,000 worth of fireworks were involved.

In a statement, Pentland Community Centre said: "The management committee of PCC would like to express our sincere apologies for any upset caused following the unfortunate incident at our annual firework display on Monday evening.

"One of the rockets misfired towards the end of the display and ricocheted into the remaining undetonated fireworks, setting them off all at once.

"This was a freak accident, and most regrettable, but this is the first incident we have had in 10 years of holding this popular community event, and we extend our apologies to everyone who was alarmed."

The statement added that safety protocols would be reviewed.

It said: "But it must be stressed that this is a well-organised event, approved by the City of Edinburgh Council and the emergency services, and it is a fact of life that sometimes unforeseen things happen, despite the best of planning and precaution."

Susan Ross, a local resident at the display, said: "My friend and her daughters were standing at the side of the post office and the showers of fireworks were coming over them and they had to jump over the girls to stop the sparks landing on their jackets.

"The next thing I heard was several bangs and then a massive explosion.

"I turned around and everybody was just scattering and running across the road away from it.

"I saw people lifting buggies up off the ground because people had their brakes on the buggies and they were physically lifting their kids by the arms to get away."

She added: "My heart was going along with everybody else. Some of the kids were crying because they did get a fright.

"I do think it should be run again next year, though."

'Social fabric'

Geoff Crow, director of 21 CC Fireworks - which was not involved in the Pentland event - said: "Looking at the video, it clearly could have been a catastrophe.

"I think part of the issue was the fireworks were contained in a very, very close space, which meant all the fireworks cross ignited at once."

He added: "I think what people are trying to achieve with small community events is a sense of community.

"They are trying to sew into the social fabric of society locally and we would commend that.

"If people want to do their own events, there is a lot to be said for training.

"I wouldn't say fireworks for a local community is a bad thing. I think it is an awareness issue of safety."

Cammy Day, Edinburgh City Council's community safety leader, said: "The council is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident at the community-organised fireworks display in Oxgangs last night, which was obviously very alarming for all those involved."

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