Outrage follows San Diego's fireworks foul-up that saw entire planned show explode at once

POSTED: Saturday, July 7, 2012 - 12:00am

UPDATED: Saturday, July 7, 2012 - 12:04am

It appears a computer glitch caused the fireworks mishap that disappointed thousands of people camped out to watch the Big Bay Boom in San Diego Bay Wednesday night.

The New Jersey based company contracted by the Port of San Diego to put together the annual fireworks show said it has offered to do a "makeup show" at no cost to the Big Bay Boom Committee.

At about 8:55 p.m. Wednesday, five minutes before the show was supposed to start -- a sudden burst of fireworks shot into the air in the bay.

Tens of thousands of fireworks were set off at the same time.

The explosions lasted a few seconds.

At about 9:20 p.m., people waiting for the display were told to return home.

The fireworks show was canceled, a radio announcement said.

Port District authorities said a "technical difficulty" resulted in all the fireworks going off within fifteen seconds just minutes before the show was scheduled to begin.

The Port hires the company Garden State Fireworks to operate the fireworks show.

Co-owner August Santore said this was not a malfunction of the pyrotechnics nor was not human error.

The crew was up all night testing and retesting to find out what happened he said and they are "pretty confident" there was some sort of glitch in a computer program that was downloaded into all five systems coordinating the fireworks at all five stations.

The company has backup plans if the display doesn't ignite but there is no backup plan if the fireworks ignite prematurely according to Santore.

The show took several months of planning for the company and "No one feels worse than us," he said.

"We don't look for anyone's sympathy, we accept 100% responsibility," Santore said.

"We were hired to perform and do a contract and there is no excuse," he said. "We will get to the bottom of it. It's not something we take lightly."

Santore said that the Big Bay Boom Committee thanked their company for the generous offer but there are no concrete plans in place yet.

What may end up happening is they'll produce the show for free next year Santore said.

No injuries were reported.

Garden State Fireworks has produced similar fireworks shows in San Diego in 2010 and 2011.
 

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