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Fireworks Explode On Ground In Downtown Duluth

July 5, 1988 GMT

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) _ An explosion of fireworks on the ground Monday night started several small fires at a downtown park on Lake Superior, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people attending a Fourth of July display.

One spectator was burned slightly and was taken to a hospital, said police officer Kevin McKenna.

″Everything went flying any which way,″ the officer said.

The incident occurred about 10 p.m., about one-third of the way through the show, McKenna said.

The explosion started several small fires at Bayfront Park on Lake Superior. A nearby warehouse being used by a construction company also caught fire, McKenna said.

A charge failed to lift one of the fireworks out of its canister, setting off a chan reaction that blew up 20 minutes worth of fireworks within two minutes, said Guy Gustafson of Arrowhead Inc. of Duluth, the company that put on the show at Bayfront Park. He blamed faulty wiring.