NY man "disarmed" by firecrackers
July 4th, 2010
New York (CNN) -- Like fireworks, it has become an Independence Day weekend tradition unto itself: fireworks-related injury.
On Saturday, a man lighting fireworks outside his Long Island home became the latest victim when he completely severed his left arm from his shoulder, Suffolk County police said.
Eric Smith, 36, was using a three-foot-long metal tube to shoot mortars near his Islip Terrace home on Saturday evening. One of the explosives shot out and struck him in the left arm, taking it off, said police.
Smith's friends wrapped the arm in ice and took him to the hospital -- where Smith was listed in serious condition.
Doctors will try to reattach the limb, police said.
A new study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that nearly 9,000 people were taken to the emergency room and two people died in 2009 from fireworks-related incidents.
Of them, nearly 6,000 of the injuries took place during the 30 days surrounding last year's 4th of July holiday -- and many resulted in the loss of a limb.
Among the safety steps the commission recommends are the following: