Computer glitch caused botched fireworks show

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The “BigBayBoom” pyrotechnics show over San Diego
Bay went bust because of an apparent computer glitch, the Port of San Diego and
fireworks company said Thursday.

The event was scheduled to be a 15-minute show featuring ordnance fired
from five locations, four on San Diego Bay and one at the Imperial Beach Pier.
Instead, all of the rockets went off at once, creating a series of gigantic
explosions that lasted less than half a minute just before 9 p.m.

No one was killed in the accidental launches.

August Santore, owner of family-run Garden State Fireworks Inc. told
reporters that the system was tested on Monday and several times before the
start of Wednesday's show.

“It's just something that obviously was beyond our control,” Santore
said. “Anyone who has ever had any kind of computer situation, or otherwise —
it's not perfect — so we've never had this situation before and God willing,
we'll never have anything like this again.”

Santore said when he saw what happened, “it pulled the life out of
me.” He said he will work with show producer Sandy Purdon and the main
sponsor, the Port of San Diego, to make amends.

A statement to the media from the port expressed disappointment in the
failure, which drew national attention via traditional and social media.

The annual July 4 display draws hundreds of thousands of residents and
tourists to the downtown San Diego waterfront, many of whom arrive in the early
afternoon to picnic and enjoy the surroundings. YouTube videos, which have
recorded hundreds of thousands of views, show attendees cheering at the sight
of massive fireballs before the ensuing silence.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, it took nearly a half-hour to get the
word out so people could go home.

The port district contributed $145,000 to this year's event, according
to its statement. Visitors to the agency's Facebook page called the short-
circuited show “unbelievable and unacceptable,” and called for Garden State
Fireworks to be sued.

The operator of a bait and tackle shop on Shelter Island wrote that
“the 15 seconds that DID happen, was SUPER COOL,” emphasizing in an all
capital letters.

Categories: KUSI