Update: Boy, 14, and girl, 11, injured by homemade fireworks

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

Two youth were injured the evening of July 4 when they were struck by shrapnel from homemade fireworks. Yates County Deputies report 14-year-old boy is being treated at Strong Memorial Hospital for a wound to his abdomen and wrist and an 11-year-old girl is begin treated at Strong for a wound to her upper arm.

The following is a statement released by Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday:


Yates County Sheriff’s Deputies continue their investigation into “dangerous fireworks” device causing explosion that injured two town of Starkey, Dundee teens celebrating July 4th.

A 14 year-old boy from the T/Starkey suffering from puncture wounds to his abdomen and wrist. He is currently in Strong Memorial Hospital ICU in Rochester, in critical condition having emergency trauma surgery overnight and is expected to undergo further surgery.

His 11 year-old old sister suffered a puncture wound to her shoulder and was treated at Strong Hospital and released.

Yates County 911 received call July 4 at 6:49 p.m. of the explosion and injuries. Preliminary investigation by deputies shows that approximately ten youth were at a camp area near 3998 Chubb Hollow Rd. in the Town of Barrington a few miles north of Dundee near Welker Road.

According to  Spike, “The explosion came from a homemade steel mortar with a heavy smooth bore angled barrel made from a pipe.” (A mortar is a device that can propel projectiles low velocities for short distances or in this case when loaded via its muzzle with gun powder and packing, thus lit will give off a loud boom.).

In this instance, investigation indicates that shotgun type smokeless powder load was too great or the device was faulty, and it exploded apart at its base projecting steel shrapnel into the bodies of the two youth that were reported to be approximately 30 feet away.

The investigation into the incident continues at this time by Sheriff’s Investigators.

Deputies had not released the names of the two Tuesday morning, and the investigation into the incident that happened at a Chubb Hollow location near Welker Road continues.

The boy was taken to Strong via Lifenet and the girl was transported to Strong by Dundee Ambulance.