Fireworks Mishap Injures At Least 40 at Wrestlemania in Orlando

March 31, 2008
At least three people were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with burns.

ORLANDO, Fla. --

At least 40 people were hurt when fireworks and cables landed on the crowd packed in the Citrus Bowl for WrestleMania on Sunday night, according to the Orlando Fire Department.

During the last fireworks event of the show, eyewitnesses said, fireworks plunged into the crowd and exploded. At least three people were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with burns.

Firefighters with the Orlando Fire Department said the fans who were taken to ORMC weren't seriously hurt, but some of the victims said for them the WWE's reputation is now in bad shape.

Tens of thousands of wrestling fans flocked to WrestleMania for the experience of a lifetime, but at least 35 fans left with ice packs on their necks and three left in an ambulance.

"It felt like a whip. I have a welt on my neck," said victim Barbara Vetere. "Like a baseball bat hit me. It was horrible. Horrible."

A pyrotechnics malfunction sent fireworks and hot cables flying into crowded stands during the final wrestling match.

"You can see the marks on a few people where hot wires crossed and fireworks touched them," said Asst. Chief Greg Hoggatt, of the Orlando Fire Department.

Firefighters said they acted quickly, but fans told a different story.

"We had to sit up in the bleachers and wait for a paramedic to come. They didn't really examine us. And we had to walk all the way down to first aid and had to ask for a bag of ice just to put on our head," Vetere added.

Channel 9 placed a call to the WWE to ask them how the accident could happen. The call was not immediately returned.

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