A San Jose man lost his right hand along with several fingers on his left after an illegally purchased Fourth of July firework he was handling ignited early, Bay Area media outlets are reporting.
Alazar Ortiz, 40, was hosting a display in his mother's driveway around 10 p.m. Friday when an ordnance exploded in his hands, mangling both, family members told NBC Bay Area.
Doctors amputated his right hand, but were able to save two fingers on his left. The family told a reporter that Ortiz is a construction worker and won't be able to make a living because of the accident.
"For $50 he blows his two hands,'' a tearful family member told an NBC reporter.
The man's family is urging San Jose police to investigate the city market where Ortiz purchased the fireworks.
Two days before the holiday the San Jose Police Department sent an advisory informing the public where they could view professionally staged fireworks. Police also reminded residents that buying, selling, possessing or using fireworks is illegal in San Jose, as it is in many California cities, including Los Angeles.
Family members told local media that the explosive was a "professional-grade device." Officer Albert Morales of the San Jose Police Department didn't have details about the explosive but told the San Jose Mercury News it "would have had to have been something pretty powerful."