Eight-year-old injured at 'freak' display where fireworks went off at once

A community firework display took a turn for the worse when boxes of fireworks all went off at the same time.

Pentland Community Centre in Edinburgh were hosting their annual bonfire night on Monday at Oxgangs Brae in the city.

During the pyrotechnic show, it is understood a banger bounced off the climbing frame and landed in among unexploded fireworks. The explosives all went off at once, scattering the crowd.

Police and Red Cross checked over spectators but no one was injured by the sudden detonation.

However, an earlier firework which toppled over and shot into the crowd did injure an eight-year-old girl. She was taken to the Sick Kids Hospital for a burn on her cheek to be treated.

On Tuesday, the chairperson of the community centre said it had been a "freak accident".

Dennis Williams said: "The management committee would like to express our sincere apologies for any upset caused following the unfortunate incident at our annual firework display on Monday evening.

"One of the rockets misfired towards the end of the display, and ricocheted into the remaining undetonated fireworks, setting them off all at once. This was a freak accident, and most regrettable, but this is the first incident we have had in 10 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 City of Edinburgh Council have launched an investigation into the incident.

Cllr Cammy Day said: "The Council is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident at the community-organised fireworks display in Oxgangs last night, which was obviously very alarming for all those involved.

"We are working closely with the organisers of the display and with our partners at Lothian and Borders Police and Lothian Fire and Rescue Service to determine what happened. I understand one little girl unfortunately sustained a minor injury, thankfully the outcome was not as serious as it could have been."

A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service said the organisers had done everything they could but it showed how easy it is for something to go wrong.

She said: "The video gives an excellent example of how unpredictable fireworks are, even with the best will in the world. That’s why we spend such a long time in the run up to Bonfire Night about the risks."

The Scottish Ambulance Service were not called to the display.

The display, which is advertised as the second biggest in Edinburgh, is organised by volunteers at Pentland Community Centre and the City of Edinburgh Council.

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