Twenty-eight people were injured as a cache of fireworks accidentally went off in a Spanish church amid festival celebrations. While the display turned out to be more dangerous than entertaining, it still was a beautiful sight to watch.
The fireworks were part of the Nit de l’Alba (Night of the Dawn) festival, which is traditionally celebrated on August 13 in Elche, in eastern Spain, in honor of the Virgin Mary.
The display was scheduled to be launched minutes before midnight, but somehow, fireworks fired from elsewhere made their way into the bell tower, landing directly on a pack of mini-rockets. And though the box was covered by a protective blanket, as a spokesperson for Elche town hall explained, the fuses ignited anyway, AP reports.
As it had been planned, a colorful storm of rockets and fireworks released from the Basilica Santa Maria would have ended at midnight, lighting up the darkness above the city with a white starburst displaying the Palmera de la Virgen.
Traditionally, locals also launch rockets and fire crackers in the streets, making the dark sky look as it does during the daytime.
This might be an explanation for how a firework made its way into the bell tower, triggering the accident.
As this year’s celebration went horribly wrong, three firework operators were hospitalized with serious burns, while 25 others were treated for minor injuries.
Some people sustained injuries to their eyes and faces, as streams of sparks and burning material landed on those who gathered below the church in Elche.