Body-launched mortar fireworks kill 3 US men

Since July 4 three fatal incidents involving the launching of a mortar-type firework by resting the tube on the body have been reported


BILLINGS, Mont. — A Montana man was killed by a mortar-type firework that he had been launching from his hip in a July 4 incident. A Maine man and a Texas man also died from injuries from body launched, exploding mortars.

When one of the mortars didn’t ignite properly Nathan Vannatta, 32, of Billings, Mont. looked into the mortar tube. As he looked into the tube the mortar exploded, reported the Billings Police Department to the Missoulian.   

Police pronounced Vanatta dead on scene. The coroner said Vannatta died from blunt force trauma to the neck.

A Maine was killed on July 4 after launching a mortar-type firework off his head. On July 7 a Texas man died after shooting a firework off of his chest.  

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