7-year-old boy and 24-year-old sister killed at fireworks display: they were about 50 yards from the firing point

Steph Deschamps / July 15, 2022

A 7-year-old boy and his 24-year-old sister were killed in a dramatic shooting incident during the July 14 fireworks Thursday in Cholet (Maine-et-Loire), which also injured one person. The investigation, opened for involuntary manslaughter, will have to determine the precise circumstances of the accident, which occurred shortly after 23:00 on a stabilized ground near the stadium of Cholet, said the prosecutor of the Republic of Angers, Eric Bouillard, contacted by AFP in the night from Thursday to Friday.
 
The brother and sister were attending the fireworks with other family members and were about 50 meters from the launch pad when the accident occurred. One injured person was also hospitalized, in an unspecified condition.
 
At this stage no other injuries have been reported, added the magistrate, who went to the scene. Asked about the circumstances of the accident, the prosecutor mentioned a shooting incident, without further clarification. It is much too early to say more, he added. 
 
Despite the incident, the fireworks display was completed and the crowd dispersed, he said. About 70 firefighters were dispatched to the scene, according to the Courrier de l'Ouest. The mayor of Cholet Gilles Bourdouleix, explained that members of the security would have advised people near the scene of the accident to move away.
 
The municipality has been working for years with the fireworks manufacturer in charge of the fireworks, he added, and it is the first time that such a drama occurs during the July 14 festivities in Cholet according to him. It is a terrible drama, he commented, contacted by AFP. The investigation was entrusted to the departmental security of Maine-et-Loire and the police station of Cholet.
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