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Tragic incident at Jacksonville’s Jax Fest fireworks show

Tragic incident at Jacksonville’s Jax Fest fireworks show

Tragic incident at Jacksonville’s Jax Fest fireworks show

Jacksonville, Alabama – A festive evening turned tragic tonight when an unexpected accident occurred during preparation for the highly anticipated fireworks show at Jax Fest.

At approximately 6:15 p.m., a pyrotechnic shell unexpectedly detonated while being set up by technicians from Pyrotecnico, the company responsible for the show. Despite there being no power source connected to the device, it detonated, injuring one of the two technicians present at the scene. Emergency services arrived on the scene almost immediately, as the launch site is adjacent to the Jacksonville Fire Department. The injured technician received immediate medical attention and was airlifted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham. Fortunately, he is now in stable condition. The other technician was uninjured and provided crucial information to police about the incident.

Pyrotecnico, committed to safety, was actively working to find a way to continue the show until at least 8:00 p.m. Vendors remained on-site and attendees continued to enjoy other aspects of the festival, despite the city’s disappointment at the event being cut short. The state fire marshal was immediately notified and arrived to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the venue. The fireworks show was postponed, and Pyrotecnico committed to returning at a later date to provide the show.

According to Jacksonville Public Information Officer Benjamin Nunnally, the scene of the incident is being investigated jointly by the State Fire Marshal, the Jacksonville Fire Department (JFD) and the Jacksonville Police Department (JPD). The scene will be preserved and secured until Pyrotecnico’s Homeland Security Officer arrives tomorrow morning to conduct a thorough inspection. A public notice will inform residents of the possibility of hearing fireworks explosions during daylight hours for the next few days while the scene is safely dismantled. The city urges the public to refrain from speculating on the condition of the injured technician and to respect the ongoing investigation.

Chief Kadle of the Jacksonville Fire Department spoke to the Calhoun Journal, explaining the incident involving an accidental discharge of fireworks that seriously injured a worker during preparation for tonight’s show. The worker was flown to Birmingham for advanced specialized care. Chief Kadle acknowledged that the Jacksonville Fire and Police Departments, along with the fire marshal, are jointly securing the scene. They are awaiting the arrival of a Homeland Security Officer who will investigate the cause of the accident and evaluate the fireworks for possible malfunctions, with the goal of preventing future incidents. The investigation will begin tomorrow morning.

City officials expressed gratitude to first responders for their quick actions and reaffirmed to the community their commitment to safety. Council members stressed the importance of staying informed about potential severe weather conditions and encouraged residents to celebrate the Fourth of July safely. More information about the rescheduled fireworks display and additional details of the investigation will be shared as they become available.

This tragic event has certainly cast a shadow over Jacksonville’s festivities, but the resilience of the community and the commitment of Pyrotecnico and city officials promise a brighter celebration in the near future.

Editor’s note: According to Benjamin Nunnally, Jacksonville’s public information officer, residents in the city are setting off fireworks. The city will not be setting off any fireworks tonight. That won’t change.

Photograph taken earlier in the day by reader Richard Brown.