An accident during the production of Tehachapi’s July 4 fireworks show resulted in minor injuries at Tehachapi Municipal Airport, staging area for the 20-minute aerial show sponsored by the City of Tehachapi.
One of the fireworks failed to launch and instead traveled horizontal to the ground, crossing the airport runway and ignited in a crowd of nearby spectators.
Arriving fire department and Tehachapi city police responders found minor burn injuries on four spectators. Two of the victims apparently left the scene. The other two suffered minor burns on various parts of their body.
Spectator David Stauffer, there with his wife and two young sons, had burn marks on his shirt and superficial burns on his chest where the cloth had been burned away. He was treated at the scene and said he was thankful his family who was sitting with him were not also injured.
A few seats away Hayley Bebee, who was sitting with her young child in her lap, suffered a burn below her right eye. Paramedics treated her at the scene and advised her to seek further medical assistance to be sure there was no damage to the eye itself.
The accident is under investigation by the Kern County Fire Department.
Bull rider injuries
There were also reports of injuries to three bull riders at the July 4 event held at the Tehachapi Event Center and Rodeo Grounds. According to spectator Al Price, one had a broken wrist, another a broken rib, and a third was taken away by ambulance after being stepped on by a bull.
Further details about the bull rider injuries is not available at this time.
Incident in Simi Valley
A malfunction at a fireworks show in the Simi Valley on July 4 resulted in an explosion that injured 28 people according to the Ventura County Star.
Four suffered severe to moderate injuries and 20 were transported to hospitals, Ventura County Fire Capt. Mike Lindbery said in a late-night news conference. Simi Valley police reported that all injuries were not life threatening and there was no indication of foul play.
CLAUDIA ELLIOTT of the Tehachapi News contributed to this report.