Freak accident halts Ely fireworks – heroic victim heard saying he’d “let people down”

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A man known as Ollie is recovering at home after a firework exploded in his face during a horrific freak accident at Ely’s annual fireworks display.

As the selfless man lay injured on the floor, witnesses overheard him say that he had “let people down”.

Video footage captured by Spotted in Ely shows the moment the firework misfired, about 12 minutes into the 20-minute display at Cherry Hill Park.

It shows Ollie, a member from Battle Bonfire Boyes, the company responsible for the display, waving to his colleagues.

Seconds later the firework misfires, on slowing down the footage, we see Ollie remain standing and then running from the horrific explosion before rolling to the ground to curb any fire. All pyrotechnic engineers were in fireproof equipment.

It appears that one of the units had failed to fire on cue, later exploding in the crew member’s face.

Witnesses said that Ollie was awake following the blast, saying “I’ve let people down”.

The display was immediately halted so that a St John’s Ambulance crew could attend to him.

After receiving care at the scene, Ollie was transported to Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he has been seen by someone regarding specialist eye care. He is thought to be in good spirits and now home with his Father.

Many people took to social media last night to wish Ollie well.

Martin Strudwick who is thought be a part of Ely XT commented on Spotted on Ely saying, “he was discharged from Addenbrookes early hours this morning into the care of his father but to go back for further examination- so that’s all I can say for now – but that got to be good news”

In a statement released by Battel Bonfire Boyes, “At last nights Ely XT firework display one of our firework crew was unfortunately injured during the display. He was attended to by on-site first aid and later treated at Addenbrookes Hospital. He is now recovering well at home. We would like to thank Ely XT committee, the on-site first aiders and all members of the public who have wished him a speedy recovery.”

Pam on Spotted in Ely said, “In the 25 years I have been to this display there has never been an accident. My thoughts and prayers go out to this man and his family.”

Ely XT Fireworks Spectacular is a charity event held each year to raise much-needed funds for local causes.

Most displays are nowadays ignited electronically but due to damp conditions, the crew decided the set the display off manually.

This tragic accident highlights potential dangers of fireworks. Luckily incidents at public displays are incredibly rare.

We are currently unwilling to share the actual video footage but we have taken some stills from the horrific 3 seconds in which Ollie was engulfed.