'Premature Ignition' Causes San Diego Fireworks To Fizzle

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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UPDATE: Thursday, July 5, 2012

The company that produced last night's fireworks show in San Diego says it's trying to find out why the tens of thousands of fireworks that had been set up on four barges and a pier all went off at once, instead of being launched over the course of 20 minutes.

August Santore, a part-owner of the company, says a glitch or virus in the computer firing system caused all of the fireworks to go off with one command, minutes before the show had been scheduled to start.

He says the precautions that were in place helped keep anyone from being injured.

Santore says the company feels "terrible" about the mishap, which was witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people. The company produced hundreds of holiday shows across the country last night.

Online video shows multiple explosions in the shape of light bulbs flaring up from barges in the bay. They began to fizzle and sputter in a matter of seconds.

One spectator told U-T San Diego that people in the crowd figured there must have been some budget cuts.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

After a malfunction that authorities are calling a "premature ignition," the fireworks show above San Diego Bay was over before it was supposed to start.

The Coast Guard says the mishap occurred minutes before the scheduled opening of the Big Bay Boom show, causing a display that was planned to last nearly 20 minutes to burn up all at once.

Guard spokesman Rich Dann tells U-T San Diego he's never seen so many fireworks go off at one time.

Show producer Garden State Fireworks has apologized, saying they were working to determine what "caused the entire show to be launched in about 15 seconds."

Video of the big, bright fizzle is glowing strong on YouTube.

About 50,000 people were estimated to have been in attendance.

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