Illegal Firework Factory Explosion Results in Injury
A firework manufacturing operation resulted in one man being hospitalized with burns and it was found that the operation was illegal.
The illegal factory in Wyoming Minnesota experienced a minor flashover explosion in the garage. The result was a 30-year-old man experiencing severe burns.
After the man was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, police discovered the materials that are used in firework manufacturing. After they acquired a search warrant, they found a small and very illegal manufacturing operation, producing illegal fireworks that were of the aerial 2-3 inch mortar style.
Wyoming, Minnesota police, in addition to the St. Paul Bomb Squad and the ATF, dismantled the equipment and removed it from the garage.
Police say that Timothy Gray, David Michael Walsh, and a third man who is in critical condition, were making fireworks out of a backyard shed and a home. The process of mixing some of the components used in fireworks ignited and resulted in the explosion.
Right now Gray and Walsh have been charged with storing and possessing an incendiary device. There are charges pending for the third man who suffered burns over 40 percent of his body.
It was a 911 call that led investigators to the home where they found tables in rows filled with black powder, sawdust, and casings.
Officers said they soon realized it was a homemade firework manufacturing operation.
While not something that authorities run into very often, they believe that the men were able to begin the operation with internet instruction. Upon the confiscation of the manufacturing materials, police also took possession of 12 computers.
Police say that the reason why there is a black market for fireworks is because making them the legal way requires strict regulation to be followed and permits to be acquired. They also said that making fireworks in the midst of a neighborhood is extremely dangerous. A firework is a device that has explosive material compressed in a tube.
The black market exists in Minnesota because it is illegal to have explosive fireworks within state lines, resulting in many individuals crossing the state border to buy them.