CBS has reported a man lost an eye and may go blind after his family says an unopened box of fireworks exploded.
On July 2, Nicholas Santiago was spending the day with family at a ranch near Royse City. His cousin said that’s when an unopened box of a firework called the “Bayou Boogie” combusted.
“He was not even close to (the box),” said his cousin Xiomara Garcia. “He was walking toward it and it exploded.”
Garcia said they could hear him screaming in agony, and his cries for help is how they eventually located him.
“He was just bleeding from his eyes, his nose, his mouth, screaming, ‘I can’t see,’ ” described Garcia.
Santiago, a 26-year-old father of one, was airlifted to a Plano Hospital. Doctors are hoping he’s able to see out of his left eye, but it’s currently swollen shut.
His family said they went back to the fireworks stand where they made the purchase and asked them to stop selling the Bayou Boogie.
The stand is located at 5574 Highway 276 in Royse City in the Southern Junction parking lot.
“The store basically just dismissed us,” said Garcia.
The Bayou Boogie is made by a company called Wild Dragon Fireworks.
When firework companies fail to take the proper care in manufacturing and igniting fireworks, the results can be severe – as shown in the case of Mr. Santiago.
For example, at a California fireworks show in 2013, a defective shell exploded early, sending rockets and shrapnel into the crowd and injuring 39 people.
Although large-scale fireworks disasters are rare, suffering a firework injury at home is more common. An estimated average of 9,125 fireworks injuries occur each year, with an average of four deaths per year.
Whether the result of improper use or a product defect, firework injuries can be catastrophic. Reported fireworks-related injuries include loss of eyesight due to sparks and debris flying into users’ and spectators’ eyes, severe lacerations caused by debris and damaged firework shell casings, and burns ranging from minor singes to third-degree burns.