Authorities in Newark has launched an investigation into a fireworks incident that killed a man in Newark on Sunday morning.
According to a brief statement released by Newark Police, a 23-year-old man was rushed to the hospital suffering severe injuries after a large firecracker exploded in his hand, ultimately causing his fatality.
The victim reportedly was holding the M-80 style firecracker in hand on the street side of the Pennington Court housing project located near 168 Pacific Street when he -or someone else- lit the device, causing it to blast off, resulting in massive external injuries at around 1:35 a.m. according to Newark Police officials.
Heavy bloodstains marked the sidewalk where the incident happened and shocked early morning residents headed to a local grocery store to get coffee and breakfast.
A senior female resident spoke anonymously in sadness but also complained about consistent firework blasts that erupt at the housing complex.
" I am so sad for the young man, but these guys pop these firecrackers all night around here. I knew something would go wrong because they did it way too much and you couldn't tell if it was an actual real shooting", the woman said.
A witness told RLS Metro Breaking News that the explosion blew off one of the victim's hands and caused damage to the other one.
" He bled to death and choked on blood right here on the sidewalk."
The witness -who said the victim's name was' Antonio' - confirmed that he grew up in the housing project with the victim and would come to visit his father who lived there.
" EMS tried very hard, but his hands were so bad, I have never seen anything like it," the witness said.
Police said doctors attempted to treat the victim's injuries, but the unidentified man died at University Hospital.
**UPDATE 10:17 a.m.:** The gentleman's name is Mr. Antonio Ortiz, 23-years-old
Condolences to his family.
**UPDATE 7:21 a.m.** A spokesperson for The Essex County Prosecutor's Office said the incident will be handled by The Newark Police Department and not considered a homicide or suspicious death at this time
The incident remains under investigation.