A man has died in a tragic firework accident after a mortar shell exploded inside of a firework tube, sending shrapnel into the man’s body and killing him on-site.
The event happened at 12:20 a.m. on Sunday, July 4 in Salamonie Township, Huntington County, Indiana, roughly 95 miles northeast of Indianapolis. According to a statement from the Huntington County Coroner’s Office, first responders were summoned to the site where a man was hurt while putting off fireworks.
Authorities said they discovered the victim, 41-year-old Steven E. Sims of Hartford City, Indiana, with serious abdominal injuries when they arrived.
According to Huntington County Chief Deputy Coroner Philip Zahm, “an early examination into the incident indicated that the mortar shell burst inside the tube, causing the pressure to breach the wall of the tube, striking the victim.” “To establish the degree of the damage, an autopsy is being performed.”
In this case, toxicology findings are also awaiting, and the autopsy results will establish the ultimate cause and manner of death, according to Zahm.