Organizer apologizes after Summerside fireworks launch onto crowded beach in south Edmonton

Click to play video: 'Fireworks launch onto crowded Summerside beach in south Edmonton'
Fireworks launch onto crowded Summerside beach in south Edmonton
Due to a "product malfunction," fireworks shot into the crowd during a show at Lake Summerside in south Edmonton on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023. Mason DePatie reports. – Aug 14, 2023

What was supposed to be a fun ending to a summer carnival in south Edmonton Friday night turned dangerous after a mishap during a fireworks show.

Instead of shooting up into the air, some of the fireworks being set off from a barge on the man-made lake exploded in the direction of the audience on the shore of Lake Summerside, causing sparks to shower over dozens of people.

Videos posted online captured the mayhem and screaming (see video player above.)

Justin Hume, who attends the show each year in the Summerside neighbourhood, said some of the fireworks landed about 20 feet away from his family.

“(The fireworks) just go everywhere, narrowly missing the people in front of us and we look over and see that people are jumping up and running around because there’s a few fireworks that have gone off right in the middle of them,” said Hume.

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Hume said he saw one young boy with minor injuries on his face.

“It took us a second to even realize what was going on. We were just kind of laughing about it and then realized we could have really got hurt,” he said.

Click to play video: 'No charges laid after fireworks set off in thousand-person crowd, says Kingston Bylaw'
No charges laid after fireworks set off in thousand-person crowd, says Kingston Bylaw

The organizers of the festival, the Summerside Residents Association, called the incident a “product malfunction” and apologized for the experience.

“We are working with authorities to investigate the product malfunction and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to prevent such incidents in the future,” the association said in a statement.

“Thankfully no major injuries have been reported and the situation is still being investigated.”

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Hume said his children are terrified of going to fireworks now.

“More than anything, we just want answers for how this could happen,” said Hume.

It’s not known what fireworks company put on the show and the association’s general manager could not be reached for comment.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services said crews were not called to the scene.

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