2 men injured by fireworks as complaints soar in New York City

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Two men were struck by fireworks -- one watching a display in the Bronx, the other shooting a firework in Brooklyn -- as the number of complaints about illegal fireworks displays in New York City soars.

In the Bronx, a spectator was struck by a firework around 12:50 a.m. Wednesday. The victim, an 18- or 19-year-old man, was hit in the chest when a firework fell over at it was being shot off on University Avenue.

He was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital in stable condition.

In Brooklyn, a 33-year-old man firing off a firework was injured on Bedford Avenue. The firework shot out the back end, instead of the front, striking the man.

It happened just after 1:05 a.m. He was taken to Kings County Hospital in serious but stable condition.

Complaints to 311 about fireworks have surged this month, and spiked in the past several days as compared to last year.

311 has gotten 1700 fireworks-related complaints through the first 15 days of this month. In the same period last year, there were fewer than 25 reports.

But the city cautioned that callers are now able to specify fireworks when making the complaint, possibly owning for part of the increase.

NYPD said they are making arrests and summonses - at least eight arrests in recent days, and four injuries - and encourage residents to report illegal shows.

Some of the fireworks are being mistakenly reported as gunfire.

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Illicit bursts of fireworks from street corners and rooftops aren't uncommon in the city's neighborhoods in the days before the Fourth of July, but the past few weeks has seen an extraordinary surge in such displays.



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