Fireworks Explode in Simi Valley
A fireworks display outside Los Angeles went horribly wrong, sending fiery shrapnel into a crowd of thousands of onlookers.
You could hear the screams from spectators as they tried to avoid the burning sparks that rained down on them from above.
Cameron Whapner caught the whole thing on his video camera. He was there thinking he was going to have a night of fun with his sister Kendal.
"The first few seconds was definitely chaotic and terrifying," Kendal said.
At first, many bystanders who saw the blast from a distance mistakenly thought it was all part of the grand display. But, up close it was a far scarier sight.
Terri Mongieolo lives right across the street from the field where the display was set off. She showed INSIDE EDITION how a four inch thick piece of shrapnel blew a hole through her fence.
"All the sudden, the fireworks just started coming at us, sideways. All the people that were lined up in front of our home, you just saw people just scattering and screaming and, the devastation, it just felt like we were in a warzone," Mongieolo said.
Investigators believe that the stage where the pyrotechnics were loaded fell over, sending the fireworks not into the sky, but directly at the crowd.
More than two dozen spectators were injured. Many of the wounded suffered eye and arm injuries along with badly burned skin.
Firefighters rushed to the scene and set up a triage to treat the injured. A bomb squad had to be called in to diffuse any of the remaining fireworks.
Bay Fireworks, the fireworks company that set off the display said in a statement: "Bay Fireworks deeply regrets that people were injured during the Simi Valley fireworks display. We will conduct a thorough and complete investigation of this incident."