Teen loses fingers in Berkeley July 4 fireworks mishap: neighbors

Fireworks injured a young man in Berkeley on July 4, costing him as many as four fingers, neighbors told KTVU. 

The Berkeley Police Department confirmed that two young people were injured during the blast, but only one suffered a "significant" injury. 

Neither of the boys were identified.

Neighbors on Friday said a group of about 30 teenagers were near the corner of Fairview and Harper streets on Thursday night, when some of them began lighting off fireworks.

Surveillance video from the scene obtained by KTVU shows boys playing football in the street with firecrackers exploding overhead, when suddenly, shortly before 10 p.m., there was some type of explosion. 

After a loud bang, a young man can be heard screaming, "what the f---" and "call 911!" His voice is pierced with pain. 

The other boys stop playing football and some rush to aid the injured teen, the video shows. 

The injury itself was not captured on camera. 

The Berkeley Scanner first reported the news. 

Neighbors said they were watching and didn't think what the boys were doing was safe. 

"I took a mental note to myself that someone would be going to the hospital," said one neighbor who asked to remain anonymous. "And then a big bang happened again, and I started hearing a bunch of people screaming ‘Call 911. Call 911.’ " 

WARNING: This video has graphic audio 

One neighbor said she saw one of the boys picking up a firework that hadn’t exploded even though his friend warned him to put the firework down before it blew up in his hand. 

The injured teen, neighbor said, is a football player and was headed to college on a scholarship. 

"Usually it's adults using fireworks," said Buford White, who lives nearby. "This year, it was a lot of kids." 

Neighbors said the young man was severely injured and it's clear from the blood spatter still seen Friday morning on the street corner and fence that it was quite a powerful blast. 

Berkeley police said an ambulance arrived within minutes of the blast. 

"This is a reminder that fireworks are both dangerous and illegal and can be life-threatening," police said in a statement.