TODAY   |  July 05, 2013

28 injured as fireworks detonate into crowd

During a July Fourth fireworks show in Simi Valley, Calif., Thursday night, fireworks accidentally detonated into a crowd of spectators, injuring 28 people. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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

>> we begin with the holiday celebration in california marred by a malfunction. they're enjoying the celebration and running for cover in the next. john is in simi valley . good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. investigators are trying to figure out exactly what happened last night. about 10,000 people were gathered in this park for a firework's display and then something went terribly wrong [ fireworks ]

>> the terrifying moment caught on tape when fireworks detonated into a crowd of spectators.

>> you could see a million people sitting and trying to enjoy the whole thing. but unfortunately we didn't get the chance to.

>> reporter: witnesses say the explosion took place just seconds into the show which was attended by thousands.

>> parts came flying everywhere.

>> reporter: even those watching from a distance say they could feel the blast.

>> it was a loud explosion. we felt the heat.

>> reporter: the aftermath was like a scene from a disaster movie. dozens of first responders rushed to help the wounded.

>> most are injuries like shrapnel injuries, things flying through the air coming in contact with body mass .

>> reporter: at least 28 people were injured. many treated on site. the most severe were taken to local hospitals.

>> out of the 28 patients, four of those patients were what we call immediate which were immediate transports which is moderate to severe injuries.

>> reporter: while most fireworks displays go off without a hitch, there are exceptions like this show last 4th of july in san diego when a 15 minute show detonated in 30 seconds. simi valley authorities are calling what happened last night an accident.

>> at this point there's absolutely no indications of foul play. we'll try to determine to our best ability exactly what's happening.

>> reporter: witnesses say that the firework as piered to go horizontally which suggests that one of the launchers, at least one of the launchers may have tipped over, kate.

>>> john yang , thank you. now