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Improvised firework explodes, injuring man in N.J. park

Approximately 100 people were attending a party at the Somerset County park when the explosion occurred

By Eric Conklin

MANVILLE, N.J. — A 34-year-old man was hospitalized Saturday evening after being injured by a handmade fireworks device exploded during a large party at a Somerset County park, according to police.

The man was attending a block party at Cooper Street Park in Manville when an “improvised fireworks device” exploded, injuring the man in his upper body, local police said on Sunday.

Police did not elaborate on the type of equipment used to discharge the fireworks or say if the man was the person handling the explosives at the time.

About 100 people were attending the party when the explosion happened around 8:15 p.m., police said. The park, with a playground and swimming pool, is in a residential neighborhood about a block from the Raritan River.

Paramedics treated the man before he was helicoptered to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, police said. An update on his condition was not available Sunday morning.

Two cars were damaged by the explosion’s force, one with a broken roof and another with a shattered windshield, police said. At least two homes nearby also were damaged.

Police said the neighborhood party was not sanctioned for a fireworks display.

The case remained under investigation on Sunday.

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