A Blue Springs man blew off his left hand and lost his right eye in an explosion Monday night. Police said he tried to build a sparkler bomb inside his home.
The explosion, which injured three people, happened at 10:50 p.m. Monday in the 3100 block of Southeast Third Street, according to Troy Pharr, police spokesperson. Police had received a report that several people were injured in an explosion.
Pharr said the man and a friend, both 21, were tying several sparklers together with electrical tape.
“They were in the kitchen area when the explosion occurred,” Pharr said, comparing the man’s creation to an IED, or improvised explosive device.
“That’s what I call it,” Pharr said. “I’ve heard of people wrapping up a hundred to two hundred sparklers tightly together, which creates a tremendous amount of pressure. We’re unclear right now how many they tried to tie together, but it must have been a lot. It was a bomb, plain and simple.”
Police did not release the man’s name.
When the device exploded, it blew off the man’s left hand. He also lost his right eye, Pharr said. His friend also suffered injuries, as did a woman who was also in the house, though the extent of both of their injuries was unknown this morning. A fourth person was in the home but suffered no injuries.
The explosion pushed an exterior wall three inches off the foundation, knocked the kitchen cabinets off their frames and popped the ceiling lights out of their fixtures, Pharr said. Firefighters from the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District were called, and they cleared the home with several exhaust fans. There was no fire, Pharr said, and no neighboring homes were damaged.
Police and firefighters are urging people to behave responsibly when handling fireworks, which go on sale in Blue Springs on Thursday.