A Northern California man's hands were mutilated over the holiday weekend when he ignited illegal fireworks and a device exploded prematurely.
Alazar Ortiz was hosting a fireworks display in his mother’s driveway on Friday night around 10 p.m. when the explosive mangled both of his hands.
The explosive went off in the 40-year-old’s hands as family members stood by.
“It would have been something pretty powerful,” Officer Albert Morales of the San Jose Police Department said.
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According to family members, the explosive was a professional-grade device.
Doctors amputated Ortiz’s right hand and were able to save two fingers on his left. Ortiz, who is a construction worker, will now no longer be able to make a living.
“For $50 he blows his two hands,” a family member said.
Ortiz is expected to live, according to Morales, and his family is now urging an investigation into the city market where the fireworks were purchased.
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Two days before the incident, the San Jose Police Department stated that professionally staged fireworks could be viewed in public. Additionally, the department reminded residents that buying, selling, possessing or using fireworks in San Jose is illegal.
During the holiday weekend, two other men were seriously injured when they lit a mortar-like explosive. The men had been trying to light the firework when it suddenly went off prematurely in their hands. One man lost fingers and fingertips, and the other lost part of his right hand.