California Man Loses Hand After Using 'Mortar-type' Firework on July 4th

A man has lost his hand in a firework accident in Lathrop, California, over the Fourth of July weekend.

The Lathrop Police Department said the incident happened after 10:15 p.m. local time in the 1000 block of Greengate Place.

The man, who is in his 30s, attempted to light a mortar-type firework, which exploded in his hand. Authorities applied a tourniquet to the man's arm to limit the flow of blood.

In a Facebook post, the Lathrop Police Department said: "Yesterday was a very busy day for calls for service, as was expected. What was also expected was that people would celebrate safely."

The police department described the incident as "an example of what not to do" and said: "This incident was totally preventable. Always use safety when handling fireworks."

In a public notice posted to the Lathrop Police Department website ahead of the July 4 holiday, officials warned that the city prohibits the use of all dangerous fireworks.

The city also limits the use of "Safe and Sane" fireworks, which can be used from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. from June 28 through July 4.

Other fireworks are prohibited all year and those who violate the order are subject to a misdemeanor citation and fines up to $250 for the first violation.

On Friday, July 3, the Lathrop Police Department seized nearly 400 pounds of fireworks and explosive devices following an undercover operation, Fox 40 reported.

The police used sites such as Craigslist and OfferUp and met four different people offering to sell fireworks.

Three sellers were cited and could face misdemeanor charges for trying to sell illegal fireworks. Another, 35-year-old Markus Monroe, sold the officer 49 improvised explosive devices and 117 pounds of commercial-grade fireworks.

Police found another 83 pounds of fireworks at his home and the San Joaquin County Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team had to respond to the area because of the explosives, per Fox 40.

Monroe has been booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on suspicion of being in possession of explosive devices and over 100 pounds of illegal fireworks.

Due to social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus crisis, firework displays across the U.S. were canceled or modified on July 4.

In New York City, five-minute-long firework displays took across the city's five boroughs on selected evenings. In California, there were various firework displays that could be viewed by the public from their vehicles or boats.

Fireworks July 4
Fireworks explode over the city as part of the 4th of July celebrations on July 4, 2020, in Santee, California. A man in Lathrop, California, lost his hand in a firework accident over the Fourth of July weekend. Daniel Knighton/Getty