Even though authorities warn about the dangers of illegally using fireworks during the July 4th holiday, people still do it—and the consequences can be severe. Yesterday, a Suffolk County man blew off his arm while lighting illegal fireworks at his home in Islip Terrace. According to Newsday, Eric Smith, 36, was "shooting mortars from a 3-foot metal tube in the street in front of his Fairview Avenue home."
A police spokesman said, "As the explosive shot out of the launcher, it struck Mr. Smith in his left arm, completely severing it from his shoulder... We believe he leaned over to ignite it, and didn't get out of the way in time and it blew off his left arm." His family put the arm on ice and packed into a cooler, in hopes that doctors would be able to reattach it at Southside Hospital.
It's unclear whether the Suffolk County police will charge Smith for illegally possessing and igniting fireworks. In NYC, police have been cracking down on fireworks—which are illegal here—especially in Staten Island, where residents really love them.