Woman has 'significant trauma' after firework exploded in her face

FORT BEND, Texas (KTRK) -- A woman was severely injured when a firework she lit exploded in her face during Fourth of July celebrations in a parking lot in Fort Bend County, authorities say.

It happened around 11:40 p.m. Sunday in a shopping center parking lot on Highway 6 and Voss Road, but people were still out popping fireworks as late as 1 a.m. Monday.

According to authorities, people had been using the parking lot to set off fireworks all night.

In the woman's case, she lit a firework, but didn't clear the area in time before it detonated.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office and emergency crews responded to the scene and found the woman, who was being tended to by her family.

She had significant trauma to her face, officials said.

"The girl, she was trying to light the fireworks, then she tripped on it while she was trying to light it up. And her whole face was injured. Half of her face," said witness Laiba Kanwal.

She was flown via LifeFlight to a hospital downtown.

Authorities did not provide an update on her condition.

Every year, doctors urge caution before lighting any firework. Michael Chang, the chief medical officer at Southeast Texas ER and Hospital, said people need to make sure to use gloves, goggles and ear protection. It's also advised to have water nearby.

"It only takes a fraction of a second to really get you in trouble," Chang said. "The faster you can get the burned area into a bucket of water the less likely you're going to get permanent damage."

Harris County Precinct 4 reminded neighbors to clean up any fireworks mess because the debris could cause injuries, a fire or blow into a storm drain.

As of 5 p.m. on Monday, a lot of the mess was still present in Fort Bend County.

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People were shooting off fireworks in a parking lot in Fort Bend County as late as 1 a.m., and for one woman, it turned extremely dangerous.

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