Oxford police said the explosive device that injured two boys on March 19 was a detonated pyrotechnic, or firework, similar to one called an aerial salute.
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, Caleb Bogan, lost a hand in the explosion, according to Lt. Lara Fening.
“It was a tragic accident,” she said.
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.
Fening said Bogan was out of the hospital and described him as “a good kid and has a good attitude after what happened.”
Police said it is possible that the firework had been partially lit or detonated prior to them finding it.
Fening said police are theorizing that the device was part of a two-part explosive device and thinks the part fell to the ground without detonating. She said police believes the person who shot off the firework probably did not realize it had not detonated.
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.
Fening said there are no charges pending in the case.
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.