Two 12-year-old boys were injured in Oxford after a device detonated on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. WCPO-TV

Police say explosion that injured 2 Oxford boys was caused by a detonated firework

Aerial salutes are fireworks that are designed be launched in the air for a fireworks display. A ground salute is one that functions from a stationary or secured position, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association website.

Police said the boys discovered the firework in the alley in the 100 block of East Withrow Street and described it as silver colored and the shape and size of a baseball. One of the boys lost a hand in the explosion.

MORE: 911 calls describe efforts to help 12-year-olds injured in Oxford explosion

One of the boys, Caleb Bogan, told police he noticed the wick was short and charred when he attempted to light it with a lighter he picked up off the street earlier in the evening, police said. After he put a flame to the wick, it exploded very quickly while he was holding it, causing severe injuries.

Police said it is possible that the firework had been partially lit or detonated prior to them finding it.

MORE: Police: 1 of 2 boys injured in Oxford explosion lost hand in the incident

Police said they cannot determine from where this firework originated. They said laboratory results revealed that pyrotechnic residue was found on the Bogan’s jacket.

Last month, Specialist Mike Grimes, commander of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad, said the explosion was caused by a modified pyrotechnic device that one of the boys ignited.

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