MINNEAPOLIS (WCCCO) — A car racing association is facing criminal charges after a New London firefighter was seriously injured while unknowingly assisting with an unauthorized fireworks display.
The injury occurred at KRA Speedway in the Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds in Wilmar on June 10, according to the county attorney’s office.
The criminal complaint says members of the Kandi Racing Association planned a fireworks display to be held after the June 10 races, with professional-grade fireworks provided by the speedway’s flagman.
New London firefighters were already on hand at the speedway due to the likelihood of a car accident. The complaint says an association member asked the fire chief for help with setting off the fireworks.
Two firefighters volunteered to help, and soon found differences between the instructions printed on the boxes and in the instruction manual found inside the boxes.
They did not properly level a fireworks container before igniting it, and after the first rocket launched, the box tilted towards one of the firefighters.
The second rocket collided with the firefighter, causing facial fractures, second-degree burns, an eye burn, multiple lacerations and a broken thumb.
The victim also suffered what the complaint describes as powder burn marks on his face, causing the appearance of a tattoos. He has had several facial surgeries in the past few weeks.
Kandi Racing Association is charged with one count each of conducting a fireworks display without a certified operator, conducting fireworks without a permit and failing to apply for a fireworks permit.
The association could face up to $9,000 in fines if found guilty on all three charges.