THE angry parents of a teenager and a five-year-old girl say they were lucky to escape serious injury after they were hit by a firework while watching Accrington’s Christmas lights switch-on.
The event, held last Thursday in the town centre, saw hundreds of people turn out to enjoy the festive fun, including a firework display near the Arndale Centre.
But for Samantha Culshaw, 18, and Jessica Procter, both of Trinity Street, Oswaldtwistle, the display soon turned into a nightmare.
They had gone to see the switch-on in a group which also included Jessica’s mum Hannah and were enjoying the display when the drama began.
Samantha said she felt something hit her on the head which she at first thought was a snowball – until it hit Jessica and covered her coat and school jumper in orange dust.
Hannah said: “Jessica screamed and I turned around and saw Sam had a mark on her head and Jessica had a mark on her cheek. It was clear they had been hit by something as there was all this powder everywhere.”
Samantha said: “I just felt numb and Jessica just had so much stuff all over her. I could feel a pain in my head and it felt like I had a bruise underneath the skin.”
Luckily, neither Samantha nor Jessica suffered any serious injury – but both families now want something doing in a bid to make the event safer.
Samantha’s mum Joanne said: “I think it is disgusting as she could have lost an eye – it could have blinded her. She is going away to university next year and it could have ruined it for her.”
Samantha added: “We have been asked if we had crossed the safety barrier, but we were nowhere near it as we were standing over by B & M Bargains on Union Street.
“I definitely want something doing about this to make it safer – not just for my sake, but for the sake of other people as well, including children. I don’t expect this to happen when I go to see a firework display.”
Samantha has a brother Luke, 10, and sisters Kelly, eight and nine-month-old Olivia, while Jessica has brothers Dylan, 11 and Connor, nine and a sister Shannon, three.
The display was organised by the Hyndburn Leisure Trust with cash backing from the Arndale Centre.
Kerry Smith, of Hyndburn Leisure Trust, said: “We can confirm we have received the complaint and are looking into the matter.”