Police Investigate After Group Gets Too Close To Fireworks Barges

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police are investigating after a group of people got too close to the fireworks set up for tonight’s big display in downtown Pittsburgh.

Everything is in place as Pyrotecnico crews get ready to put on the “Flashes of Freedom” fireworks display.

Sunday night, almost 24 hours before the start of the show, a noise caught the show’s co-designer off-guard.

“When you hear bang, bang, that’s something we’re geared to listening to,” Pyrotecnico co-designer Ralph Piacquadio said.

Piacquadio said it sounded like firecrackers going off in the bushes near the three barges full of explosives. Crew members were concerned the fireworks were just too close.

“It started again and there were a few aerial devices that lobed up over the tree line. And you just don’t take any chances,” Piacquadio said. “We’re shooting them tonight at 9:33. We didn’t want to shoot them 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m., whatever time it was.”

Piacquadio said a security guard discovered the group of people and called in Pittsburgh Police and the fire department. Arson squad detectives will determine if charges will be filed.

“When I saw that, I didn’t care if it was on purpose or not on purpose. It was leaving,” Piacquadio said.

Meanwhile, the show must go on and it appears as if everything is all set.

“We ran a full test last night at about 8 p.m. and everything tested great,” Piacquadio said.


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  • Dan Mascaro

    Who cares!

    • REALiTY

      The same people who care about your opinion.

  • Doreen Barlow Duncan

    They prpbably didn’t even know what was in the barges. Couldn’t it have been resovled by simply asking them to leave and explain why? It really can be that simple

    • OOZINGcarbuncle

      If Benzene was in the barges Pittsburgh would not have needed a fireworks display. Much safer to light fireworks near a chemical or gas plant.

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