Nightly News   |  July 05, 2013

Fireworks launch into crowd during frightening mishap

In Simi Valley, Calif., a fireworks show went terribly wrong, injuring at least 34 people after one of the platforms holding the firework launchers tipped over. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in california it came without warning as they gathered for a relaxing and festive evening of fireworks. thousands getting ready for the show in simi valley , california , when a platform holding explosives gave way. sending exploding fireworks into the crowd.

>> reporter: in simi valley , california , a night of celebration --

>> oh! oh!

>> reporter: turned to horror, caught on amateur video . the show only minutes old, when exploding fireworks launched into thousands of spectators, about 900 feet away. some recalled the chaos.

>> fireworks that normally go high, some going two feet, some going ten feet. all really low, all up over the ground.

>> i got out of my chair and dove behind it, you thought you were going to get burned.

>> reporter: police and firefighters rushed to help the injured. officials said at least 34 people hurt, the youngest 17 months old. two remain hospitalized today, listed in fair condition. debris hit josh in the back, but he wasn't hurt.

>> i saw a woman with a big wound in her chest. couldn't get out of her chair. she was in shock, you know.

>> reporter: it appears one of the platforms holding the launchers tipped over, send fireworks into the crowd instead of the sky. the company says it deeply reflets the injuries and will conduct a thorough and complete investigation. it wasn't the only july 4th mishap. fireworks burned 14 boats at a seattle marina, causing about $1.5 million in damages. last year, san diego 's planned 17 minute show, lasted 15 seconds, when all fireworks went off at once. in simi valley , investigators picked through the debris of last night's accident. reminder of the dangers of the yearly american celebration. john lang , simi valley , california .