Fireworks Are Dangerous: A Death in Dzerzhinsk

Dear Readers:

If you are using fireworks for holiday fun, then please be careful and observe all necessary precautions.

Yesterday a death occurred in the Russian city of Dzerzhinsk caused, apparently, by careless handling of fireworks.  The incident occurred during the celebration of “City Founding Day”.

Dzerzhinsk

The town of Dzerzhinsk, in the Nizhegorodskaya Oblast of the Russian Federation, is located on the Oka River, about 400 km east of Moscow.  The 2010 census gives it a population of around 240,742  souls.  The town was formerly known by the name of Растяпино (Rast’apino).  It is not known exactly when the town was founded, but, according to the Russian wiki entry, Rast’apino is first mentioned in the historical archives in 1606, in connection with the entire village being donated as property to the Dudin Monastery.  The names of surrounding villages are mentioned in the archives, names such as Zhelnino, Igumnovo, Babino, and Pyra.

Nizhegorodskaya Oblast in the scheme of things

Rast’apino gradually built up and became an important Russian town, when the railway hub called “Chernoe” was constructed in 1862.  Private houses sprang up alongside the entire stripe of the railway line.

In 1915 a  factory producing mineral acids was opened in the area; this factory exists to this day and is called “Korund LLC“, which is an important chemical company in the area.

In 1916 a factory producing explosives was founded in this area, which also exists to this day, name of “Sverdlov Company” and is part of the Russian government’s Military-Industrial Complex

In 1929, the vast pine forest north of the Rast’apino railway station was chopped down, in order to build a new Soviet town.  This working-class town was renamed “Dzerzhinsk”, in honor of Polish Bolshevik revolutionary Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, aka “Iron Felix”.

In 1930 Dzerzhinsk was upgraded from “town” to “city”.

Education:  The city of Dzerzhinsk contains 38 regular schools, 5 music schools, one art school.  There are also a dozen or so institutes of higher education, including technical colleges, business and science colleges, and filials of higher education institutes in St. Petersburg.

Dzerzhinsk football club is called “Khimik”

Religion:  Mostly Orthodox Christianity.  Eight churches and two cathedrals.  Two Mosques built for the use of Muslims (mostly Tatars).  Three Protestant churches for Christian Evangelical sects, mostly Baptists.  There are also a few practicing Buddhists in the area.

Sports – this bit is important, because the fireworks accident took place at the stadium built for the local team called “Khimik” (=”Chemist”).  It goes without saying that this is a football team.  This local team is of national calibre and even reached the national league finals in the 2013-2014 season.

Fireworks Accident

The fireworks accident happened yesterday (Saturday, May 28).  During celebrations of annual “City Day”, a pyrotechnical show was launched, for the pleasure of the public.

The Oka River

Unfortunately, one of the rockets apparently flew wild and came down in the middle of the crowd.  There were several minor injured, who were taken to the hospital, treated and released.  Privacy laws prevented names of patients from being released, but according to the latest, there were at least two other more serious injuries, a woman (born in 1985) and a man (born in 1981), both whom suffered significant wounds and had to be admitted to the hospital.  The most serious casualty:  one death, a woman, whose name could not be released, but we know her birthdate of 1951.

According to the RIA piece, Fire Department and Explosives experts are on the scene.

RIA interviewed workers at the Dzerzhinsk Urgent Care Facility, who reported the following:  “Seven people were brought to us, we were told there were others at the Trauma Center.”

Criminal negligence?

Eye witnesses used social media trying to explain what happened:  “A shell flew from the Khimik Stadium, landed down on the asphalt, exploded, shrapnel flew everywhere, one of them hit a woman right in the head.”

A criminal investigation has been opened into the incident.  No doubt if somebody is found to have been negligent, then heads will surely roll.  Russian law provides for up to 10 year sentence for this particular statute of criminal negligence.

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