Local News

Fatal explosion causes Ocracoke to cancel fireworks

Posted June 21, 2010 7:41 a.m. EDT
Updated June 21, 2010 10:57 a.m. EDT

— A beach community in North Carolina where four people were killed as they unloaded fireworks a year ago won't have a July 4th fireworks display this year.

Hyde County spokeswoman Jamie Tunnell said the Ocracoke Island community decided to forgo fireworks this year out of respect for the victims.

Last year, four people from Wayne County were killed and a fifth person was injured as they unloaded fireworks from a truck on Ocracoke Island.

Survivor Martez Holland, 27, said he and four co-workers were contracted by South Carolina-based Melrose South Pyrotechnics to set up the island’s pyrotechnics display.

Terry Holland, 49, Mark Hill, 21, Charles Kirkland Jr., 49, and Lisa Simmons, 41, were inside a truck working on fuses when it exploded. State and federal officials ruled the explosion accidental.

Tunnell says Ocracoke will hold its usual parade, which will end with a memorial for the four killed. A flag-raising ceremony, sand sculpture contest and antique car show will also go on as planned.