Fireworks investigation analysis

When a steel casing used to hold a firework in position failed catastrophically during a public display and large fragments were thrown into a tightly packed crowd resulting in injuries and a fatality, LR’s Applied Technology Group (ATG) was asked to participate in the investigation. 

Because the steel casing was only intended to position the device and not contain it, one aspect of the investigation focused on if there was a deliberate act of sabotage or if it was the result of human error.

Using several types of detailed numerical and chemical analysis of the explosive mixture determined that excessively high temperatures could be achieved if the multi-stage firework was improperly mixed or packed resulting in failure.

Numerical analyses also verified that the casing failure observed at the accident scene was consistent with pressure levels that could be obtained from an improperly prepared mixture.