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Fireworks display to move after rocket shot into crowd, injuring four

Sandwell | News | Published:

A fireworks display which saw four people injured when a stray rocket shot into the crowd is set to be moved to a new venue to cope with numbersand help boost safety.

Council chiefs say it is 'very likely' the event at Brunswick Park in Wednesbury will be held elsewhere after up to 12,000 people turned up last month.

A thorough investigation is being carried out into the November 5 incident before a final decision is made.

Four people were hurt when a firework went into the crowd atthe end of the show which saw double the expected number of people attend.

Sandwell Council leader Darren Cooper, said changes were planned due to the amount of visitors and traffic and parking issues an alternative venue could be found. He said: "We probably need to plan out a slightly bigger venue for next year for the Wednesbury event because it was so well attended - there were thousands.

"It is very likely we are going to have to move the event because of the amount of people that attended but where we move it to is unclear at this stage. It has got to be in Wednesbury."

No firm alternatives have been considered at this stage pending the investigation due to be concluded early next year but a display will remain in Wednesbury.

Council event organisers said at the time of the incident that the final firework shot off through safety barriers and into the crowd.

Councillor Cooper added: "They have been looking into the manufacturing of the firework because it may have been a dud.

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"The initial feedback is that there isn't very much that we could have done to prevent it happening.

"I'm sure that people understand that fireworks are explosives and we do all we can to ensure safety.

"I would much prefer public displays that are done by organised and trained pyrotechnicians than I do to people in their back gardens."

Subsequent displays at Dartmouth Park in West Bromwich and Victoria Park in Smethwick proceeded as planned without incident despite the injuries at the Wednesbury event.

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Sandwell councillor Maria Crompton, whose department oversaw the event, said after the incident that the authority had an 'excellent safety record' for bonfire events.

Among those to be injured was Jason Deeley-Brewer who suffered burn injuries when the rocket hit and exploded on his leg.

The 43-year-old, from Wednesbury, dismissed the idea to move the display. He said: "It's not the location, it's the organisation of the event which was wrong.

"They needed someway of monitoring how many people entered, maybe charging people when they came in."

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