Families left 'terrified' after rockets exploded into crowds at Winchester fireworks display

  • Report by ITV Meridian's Rachel Hepworth

Families who attended a fireworks display in Winchester described their "terror" when rockets exploded directly into the crowds.

Spectators attended the event on Saturday night (5 November) organised by a social club in Weeke.

But parents say the display turned to chaos when the fireworks malfunctioned and hit people in the crowd, leaving children and their parents in fear.

Luckily no-one was injured at the display, in which the organisers say a box firework was blown over by a gust of wind. 

Organisers have apologised for what they've called "an unfortunate and unpreventable accident."

Many families took to social media criticising the display.

One resident posted on Facebook: "Absolutely fuming. We took the kids to watch the fireworks at Weeke Community Centre this evening.

"They did the fireworks from the car park and didn't secure them correctly.

"They tipped over and flew into the kids. My kids along with all the others were petrified."

Sam Harland was watching the display at home from an upstairs window with her partner, son and daughter.

She said: "The firework was set off, hit the tree and came straight towards the window.

"The kids' dad quickly closed the window, then the firework hit the window and exploded.

"My children were stood right next to the window - if it had come in, it would have caused a lot of damage.

  • Local resident Sam Harland was watching the display from her nearby home when a firework hit an upstairs window.

Sam said there hasn't been any problems with the event in previous years, but says she hopes organisers have learnt lessons from this year.

She said: "I really don't want fireworks hitting the house again.

"It's an awful shame, because everyone was really excited, the children were excited to see the fireworks, and I would imagine from the screams we heard, they must have gone away absolutely terrified.

"You could see all the sparks flying. I wouldn't have wanted to be over there with my children."

  • Families react as fireworks explode into nearby crowds.

In a statement, Peter North, vice chairman of the social club, said: "We are deeply saddened and upset that an unpreventable accident occurred at the display.

"We immediately stopped the display and safety marshals went through and checked everyone in the crowd.

"It was only those four people that required our attention and at no point were any emergency services needed or called."

"There wasn't any of this chaos that has been reported over social media," he added.

"This was just a real unfortunate event and of course, we wish we could turn the clock back."

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