Europe

18 injured in accidental blast at French carnival

Bonfire blows up seconds after it's ignited

 

Five people were rushed to hospital – including one child – and dozens more were injured when a fireworks display exploded into the crowd at a carnival near Paris today.

Dramatic footage appears to show a huge fireball sparking terror among the watching crowd, injuring children as young as two.

The horrific accident happened in Villepinte, in the French capital’s northern suburbs, where children when a wooden guy-style figure dubbed Mr Carnival went up in smoke.

Dozens were injured, including 18 seriously including three children, with Paris fire brigade spokeswoman Nathalie Crespin saying many people suffered facial injuries.

She said five had been hospitalised, including one child, but their lives were not in danger.

An eyewitness said: “The kid was screaming and covered in blood. To begin with, everyone thought the explosion was planned, then we realised something had gone terribly wrong.

“Bits of the guy and other debris flew towards us in every direction, like spears. The bits of wood were burning hot.

“People were shouting in panic, and the worst hit were lying on the floor. They had just lit the effigy, and the idea was that it would light up and burn surrounded by flares.”

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