On Friday night, the Rocket City Trash Pandas (the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, they play in Madison, Alabama, near Huntsville) had their fireworks show go quite wrong, which led to one team employee being transported to hospital with a non-life-threatening leg injury. Instead of going straight up as expected from behind the left field wall, at least one firework shot off at an angle and hit the grass berm down the right field line. Here’s video of what happened, via AL.com:
Here’s another angle that appears to show multiple fireworks hitting that berm or going over it, which was posted in response to the team’s initial statement that it was just one firework that malfunctioned:
There were a lot more than one 😂
— DartySZN (@DartySZN_) August 6, 2022
Couple more than one in this short vid 🤔🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/DSZCk0nF3l
— DartySZN (@DartySZN_) August 6, 2022
And here’s a video from the berm showing a firework hitting the grass (as seen in the screencap above):
Angels AA affiliate the Rocket City Trash Pandas accidentally launched multiple fireworks into their crowd pic.twitter.com/IF3m9nYuJs
— Bush Leaguer (@BushLeague101) August 6, 2022
Two fans who were on that berm spoke to Kayla Smith of Huntsville CBS affiliate WHNT about the incident:
“I was a little scared, but my dad told us what to do,” said Tinley Newton, a young fan at the game. “He helped us through it. My thoughts were just that we need to make sure everybody’s okay, and we need to hopefully get the fireworks calmed down.”
Tinley and her dad, Ryan Newton, were enjoying their first Trash Pandas game from the Berm, a grassy hill near the first baseline. When fireworks launched in their direction, they said they didn’t have a lot of time to react.
“I thought, from my experience with doing fireworks that I’ve bought and things, that if a launch tube has fallen over, it’ll shoot sideways and things like that,” said Ryan Newton.
“Afterwards, it seemed like fairly quickly that it happened that the staff from the stadium rushed in and helped anyone, still as it was kind of going off, they were there to try and help people get out of the way,” Newton said. “It was a fairly quick response from them.”
The Newtons said their experience with the firework show has not deterred them, and they will be back to watch future games at Toyota Field.
Paul Gattis has more on the aftermath in a piece at AL.com, including comment from Huntsville Medical Emergency Services (HEMSI) and Madison Fire and Rescue on the injury:
One person was taken to the hospital Friday night after a fireworks accident at the Rocket City Trash Pandas game in Madison.
The victim had non-life-threatening injuries, according to Don Webster of HEMSI.
The Trash Pandas released a statement after the incident, saying that no fans were injured. Webster said the call to HEMSI came at 8:56 p.m. and the victim was transported by ambulance to Madison Hospital emergency room.
In a statement Saturday, Madison Fire & Rescue Chief David Bailey said the injured person transported to the hospital was a Trash Pandas employee. Bailey described the injury as a “slight leg injury.”
“Madison Fire & Rescue did respond one paramedic unit and one engine company but did not need to provide patient care,” Bailey said in the statement.
On Saturday, the team confirmed that it was an employee who was injured, and that the employee was treated, released, and back at work for Saturday’s game. They also passed along a statement from the fireworks provider on just what went wrong:
A statement from Pyro Shows Of Alabama in regards to Friday night's fireworks show: pic.twitter.com/J4BTf1uwXS
— Rocket City Trash Pandas (@trashpandas) August 6, 2022
It’s certainly good that there weren’t more injuries here, and that the injured employee was able to recover quickly. But this was a scary situation for many of those there.