Woman loses foot, 9 others injured in fireworks-related accident - KMSP-TV

Woman loses foot, 9 others injured in fireworks-related accidents

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

One woman's left foot was severed and another woman was seriously burned during a fireworks mishap in a Southwest Side park late Thursday. They were among nine people taken to hospitals by Chicago Fire Department paramedics Wednesday and Thursday.

Fire Department personnel responded to several incidents of fireworks-related injuries on July 3 and 4, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said.

The most serious of the injuries suffered from fireworks were the two women who were hurt while they were watching fireworks at West Lawn Park, 6300 S. Keeler, about 11 p.m. They told police that a bright light flew toward them and exploded, police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.

The explosion severed the left foot of one of the women, who is 32, police said. Her right foot was also severely injured in the blast and she suffered second-degree burns to an arm.

The second woman, a 36-year-old, was treated for a fractured leg and 2nd and 3rd degree burns to the lower extremities, Langford said.

Both women were listed in serious condition Friday morning at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

State Senator Marty Sandoval who represents the southwest side of Chicago, said today it may be time to consider dropping the state's ban on fireworks.

"Either we decide to enforce the law or decide to do something else," Sandoval says. "It's obvious that our police department has other priorities, we the legislature should assess it and recognize that people are just crossing the border in Indiana and buying fireworks and everyone's looking the other way, we should just acknowledge that and be truthful with people."

People who live around West Lawn Park said Thursday night it was packed with people lighting off powerful, illegal fireworks--a tradition that has been going on for decades.

"There's always been fireworks going on, huge, hundreds of people," says West Lawn resident Colette Sherman. "It's always been that way, police always tried to control it, always, and lately they've kinds of let it go by, am I right, but you can't blame them, they've got so many things they have to worry about."

But after last night, people expect police might start cracking down.

"I don't think we'll have the same things going on next year," says Mary Nevarez from West Lawn.

The fire department took nine people to hospital from fireworks-related injuries, but Langford noted that there could have been others hurt by fireworks who went to hospitals on their own.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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