New York man blows arm off with fireworks

Posted Jul 4, 2010 by Kim I. Hartman
An Islip Terrace man has been hospitalized at Southside Hospital tonight after blowing his arm off his body in a horrific accident. The man took a direct hit from a mortar he was launching. Friends packed his arm in ice for the trip to the ER said police.
Waterloo Paramedics
This evening Suffolk County Police Third Squad detectives announced they are investigating the circumstances that ended with an accident that claimed the arm of man who was lighting illegal fireworks off tonight in a weekend long celebration of the birth of our Nation.
The Islip Terrace man blew off his left arm after illegally lighting off fireworks tonight says a spokesmen for the police department in a press release just issued.
Eric Smith a resident of Suffolk County was using a 3-foot long metal tube to shoot mortars from the street across from his house. He home is located at 37 Fairview Avenue in Islip Terrace.
As the explosive shot out of the launcher, it struck Smith, 36, in the left arm, completely severing it from his shoulder.
Smith was rushed to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where he was listed in serious condition.
The accident occurred at 5:45 pm today when Smith and friends began their holiday fireworks show.
Friends of Smith attempted to save the arm by wrapping it in ice and transporting it to the hospital. It is believed that doctors will try to reattach it.
A call to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore confirmed Smith is being treated there and additional surgery is ongoing at this time. The hospital will make full statement in the morning once the first surgeries are completed and more information on Smith's condition can be released.
No other information on the patient could be provided said hospital staff.
Detectives from Suffolk County Sheriff's Department were assisted at the scene by Patrol, Emergency Services, the Arson Squad and Crime Scene units.
Crime Scene Tape
Crime Scene Tape
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In other news the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department said this evening at 9pm they have arrested a Lindenhurst man for possessing more than $250 worth of fireworks at his home.
Suffolk County First Precinct Crime Section officers, acting on an anonymous tip, arrested Henry Kuhn at 9 p.m. for storing the fireworks in his living room.
Police allege Kuhn also had more fireworks in the trunk of his girlfriend’s car, to transport to a different location.
Emergency Service officers assisted with the removal of the fireworks, which included large multi-launch cakes, 8-ounce rockets, 2-inch mortar shells, roman candles and sparklers.
Kuhn, 30, of 506 North Green Ave., Lindenhurst, was issued a Field Appearance Ticket and will be arraigned in First District Court in Central Islip on September 7, 2010.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Read more at Digital Journal on Safety for the July 4th weekend when using fireworks:
Fourth of July - Safety vs. Stupidity
Tips on fireworks safety and information on dangerous and recalled fireworks.
Michigan Firefighters Viral Rap Video on Fireworks Safety