DCSIMG

Fireworks display that went wrong in Oxgangs a YouTube sensation

Fireworks fly off in all directions at the Oxgangs display

Fireworks fly off in all directions at the Oxgangs display

  • by JEN LAVERY
 

A VIDEO of a recent fireworks display that went dangerously wrong has now been viewed nearly quarter of a million times on YouTube.

Bonfire Night nearly ended in disaster for the people of Oxgangs earlier this month at their annual fireworks display when a rogue rocket misfired.

The rocket flew directly into a stack of fireworks, igniting them and causing them to explode in all directions.

However, those who have viewed the event online seem more interested in the spectacle of the event, rather than the danger the incident posed.

The footage had been viewed 242,345 times at time of going to press, with the video gaining 714 “likes” and 38 “dislikes”.

Comments on the video include: “How fireworks should be done.”; “Nice one! You guys definitely had a blast!”; “Best kind of display! ALL AT ONCE BOOM!”; “This is my type of firework show!” and “It isn’t fun unless it’s dangerous.”

On hearing about the reaction to the video Colinton/Fairmilehead Conservative Councillor Jason Rust said: “It’s concerning if people are watching this and simply seeing what would appear to be an amazing display, and not really considering the impact this would have had on people who were there at the time.

“It may look quite something if you’re watching it on a computer screen in the safety of your home, but for those people who it happened right in front of it was a very frightening experience. There’s a danger that young people may not give full consideration to that.”

One eyewitness to the Oxgang event described scenes of “blind panic” as parents desperately tried to shelter their children from burning projectiles. The situation was said to have been exacerbated by police barriers blocking off exits from the community centre green.

An eight year old girl was hit in the face by a firework and taken to the Sick Kids Hospital, though she was not said to have been seriously injured.

Community centre chair Dennis Williams, who can be seen in the video standing close to the fireworks as they exploded, issued an apology for the incident, saying: “The management committee would like to express our sincere apologies for any upset caused following the unfortunate incident at our annual firework display.

“This was a freak accident, and most regrettable, but this is the first incident we have had in ten years of holding this popular community event, and we extend our apologies to everyone who was alarmed.

“We will be reviewing our safety protocols, but it must be stressed that this is a well organised event, approved by the City of Edinburgh Council and the emergency services, and it is a fact of life that sometimes unforeseen things happen, despite the best of planning and precaution.”

The day after the display Cllr Cammy Day said the council was investigating the “alarming” incident. A debriefing is set to take place in the City Chambers on December 10.

A video of Bonfire Night 2011 in Oban became a YouTube hit last year when a mistake led to all of the fireworks going off in one minute, instead of over a 20-minute period. The footage has been viewed almost two million times.

jen.lavery@edinburghnews.com

 

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