Faulty Fireworks Detonated In Belhaven; Came From Ocracoke Truck

ATF agents are in Belhaven, trying to get rid of fireworks that failed to go off Saturday night.

Belhaven mayor Adam O'Neal tells WITN News that those fireworks came off the same truck that ended up in Ocracoke.

Four workers were killed and one injured when that shipment of fireworks exploded on the island Saturday morning.

An estimated 60 fireworks in Belhaven failed to go off Saturday. "Fireworks were shooting low on the horizon, not typical, then over the water, we knew they weren't right.," said resident Susan Simmons.

The mayor says one of their rockets exploded in a container. "One of the rounds went off in a canister, started a fire, it was very dangerous, that's why we called in crews," said O'Neal.

The mayor says some of the faulty fireworks had a "Made in China" sticker on them. By 4:30 p.m. the town reported that all of the fireworks had been safely detonated.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Teaches Location: Shooters on Dec 5, 2009 at 05:23 PM
    I spend much of my spare time teaching people to shoot fireworks safely. I also spend a lot of time in courts as a professional witness so I know what I am talking about when I say that it was probably more a case of loading/wiring incorrectly, a deficient board or a dead battery than of defective shells and "knows" and "Dick" are the correct ones here. The 'Ocracoke truck' probably did pass through Hatterras & dropped a load of fireworks off, but the chances of them "being from the same batch" is slim at best if not non-existent. Anyone shooting for a living knows that this kind of thing will happen! A good shooter will expect it and prepare for it. Life sucks but those are the facts. My thoughts go out to the families but Legislating the problem was the wrong way to handle this "issue".
  • by knows Location: hatteras on Jul 8, 2009 at 06:18 AM
    To Ferry Ride: The truck carrying the fireworks from Hatteras to Ocracoke was the only vehicle on the ferry at the time. This is protocol. The Swan Quarter Ferry was not involved in this. Thoughts and prayers go out to the victims families.
  • by Dick Location: Davidson on Jul 7, 2009 at 07:32 PM
    Most shells fired in America come from China. If a show only had American shells it would last about 5 minutes due to the cost. American shells are very expensive. There is a number of reasons why a shell does not reach altitude including not being properly loaded. Also it is not uncommon for a shell to go off in the mortar. Anyone who has been around fireworks for anytime has had this happen. Even with American fireworks. The report also said that a grass fire burned through wiring preventing the firing of some of the shells which means the shells themselves were not faulty but the firing system could not get the necessary power to them to be fired. An accident is just that and something caused it. When it concerns fireworks 99.9% of the time it usually involves human error of some kind. God rest these poor souls. I have seen many of this companies shows and they have been fantastic for the most part. A top rated company. Even Grucci has had accidents.
  • by Ferry Ride Location: Greenville on Jul 7, 2009 at 11:47 AM
    The scariest thing is this truck was probably on the swanquarter ferry with tons of other families. Could you imagine about an hour into the journey and this thing went off. Should have to take thier own barge across. Scary how many of these trucks run up and down the roads!
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on Jul 7, 2009 at 11:44 AM
    WOW, sure enough Belhaven was very close to seeing a very sad dark July the 4th just like Ocracoke. Maybe the Lord up above was looking out for Belhaven. To Keep imorting, I tend to agree with you on that. I would hate to think it but it would not surprise me if this Chinese made stuff was made intentionally by Chinese people for the purpose to kill someone in the United States. Those people oveer there hate us and are crazy just like North Korea and Iraq.
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Jul 7, 2009 at 03:24 AM
    Gordon, Actually it is not quite that simple. In SC you are required to have a pyrotechnicians license in order to purchase those items. Furthermore it is required to have a permit issued by ATF in order to possess and transport those items. A CDL with Hazmat endorsement is also required as well as the proper placards on the truck. You can't just show up at the factory and load up a uhaul truck with explosives based on your CDL.
  • by Ozone Location: Belhaven on Jul 6, 2009 at 08:22 PM
    I saw Dr Leverett out at the scene...It looked like he had everything under control--even his bowtie...
  • by gordon Location: buxton on Jul 6, 2009 at 07:30 PM
    these people that shoot the fireworks are SUB contracters.they go to a fireworks company in sc ,look at a vidio(maybe),show a cdl license with a hasmat indorsment (this is only required by the dmv) and they can carry a load of fireworks anywhere they want in a rental truck;with no company engineer.this should be associated with homeland security
  • by Keep imorting Location: NC on Jul 6, 2009 at 06:54 PM
    Made in China, imagine that. Thats one of the reasons everything we have should be USA made and stop all this importing and exporting, you never no what u are getting. Before it is over the US will be so dependent on other countries they will be able to do as they want with us.
  • by lives near detonation site Location: belhaven on Jul 6, 2009 at 05:21 PM
    i just wish that they had let everyone know that they took some out near the water treatment plant to set them off. scared the snot out of some of us.
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