'Misfire and explosion' leave pyrotechnic workers injured at La Puente fireworks show

A pyrotechnics worker was seriously injured and two other fireworks professionals suffered minor injuries Wednesday night due to a mishap during a show sponsored by the city of La Puente.

"Our hearts are heavy as we share news about the La Puente’s Fortunate Jimenez Fireworks Show," the city posted in a statement on social media. "One dedicated pyrotechnic technician was seriously injured due to a misfire and explosion. Two other technicians suffered minor injuries.

"We ask for your thoughts and support for their families during this challenging time."

Those injured "were giving the community a wonderful 4th of July display," the statement added.

The incident apparently brought the show to a halt. "We thank the community for your patience and understanding," officials stated.

The city had promoted the event online as a "family-friendly beer garden celebration" that included live music and food, with festivities beginning at 4 p.m. at the La Puente Baseball Field.

One witness, Tiffany Angulo, said on Facebook: "The firework did blow too low. Twice! I literally said, 'God forbid anyone get hurt.' Whatever company we purchased the fireworks from I hope we don’t again."

"We saw the explosion and asked staff if anyone was injured," posted Maggie Perez Martinez in response to La Puente's announcement. "They said, 'No. everyone's fine.' So sorry to hear this."

Vincent A. Barela added: "So sad to read this, we were there and the show ended abruptly. Hope the show runners recoup quickly and with minimal injuries."

A Wednesday night report from NBC4 showed a small fire burning on the ground amid the pyrotechnic equipment. From the news helicopter, it looked as though fire crews and police officers were remaining clear temporarily of the potentially dangerous area.

One social media poster, Shirley Garay-Bermudez, saw the incident as a sad, teachable moment: "This explains why fireworks are dangerous... The pyrotechnics are trained and do wear protective gear and they are aware anything can go wrong, which is why the fire department and paramedics are on site in cases of emergency. Prayers for all who were injured."

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.