A Linwood Township man remained in critical condition Tuesday, three days after members of a bomb squad presided over the surgical removal of an illegal aerial firework from his chest.
The Anoka County Sheriff's Office was called just after 9 p.m. Saturday to a house on the 6800 block of 225th Lane NE., said sheriff's spokesman Cmdr. Paul Sommer.
Deputies found the 31-year-old man with massive injuries to his chest. Two adult witnesses reported that he had been using a hand-held metal mortar tube to launch fireworks, Sommer said. When he attempted to launch two rockets at once, the witnesses said, the first one went off as planned, but the bottom of the tube blew out.
The man, whose identity has not been released, was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Once he was in the emergency room, doctors realized that the second, unexploded, device was lodged in his chest. The St. Paul Police Department's bomb squad was brought in to oversee its surgical removal, and then took the explosive from the hospital.
Sommer said his office did not have more information about the nature of the device, or whether people at the hospital were in danger at any time. Aerial fireworks, he said, basically are two-stage rockets. A preliminary explosion launches it; the second creates an aerial display. Any explosive that leaves the ground is illegal in Minnesota, he said.
"The explosion was strong enough to blow the bottom off a metal tube and impact the second in his chest," Sommer said.
MARIA ELENA BACA