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Fireworks go off early, two hurt
A brilliant flash became the grand finale during the fireworks display at Fort Stewart on Wednesday following a pyrotechnics accident. Two people suffered minor injuries in the incident. - photo by Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Robbins
Two employees of a fireworks contractor were injured Wednesday when many of the pyrotechnics accidentally detonated prematurely, forcing a halt to the display.
Fort Stewart fire and safety officials determined the incident Wednesday night that injured the workers during the installation’s Fourth of July celebration was an accident.
One employee was treated at the scene. The second was taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center and was treated and released that night.  
Both workers are employees of Melrose South Pyrotechnics, Inc., of Catawba, S.C., which was contracted to provide the fireworks display.
Their names were not released.
SFC Thomas Robbins, who witnessed the explosion, said, “I’ve been in war. This was the worst thing I’ve seen except Baghdad.”
An 800-square-foot safety zone was in place for the fireworks display to ensure the safety of the 5,000 spectators. The fireworks display was stopped immediately after the accident and on-site Stewart-Hunter emergency personnel responded.  
A Stewart-Hunter explosive ordinance disposal team removed unexploded fireworks from the scene and detonated them safely.
Wednesday’s holiday events included a 50-gun salute to the nation, food booths provided by Hinesville and other community supporters, rides and games for children and teenagers, and a concert by Corey Smith.
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