Fireworks multi-shot cake barrage exploding on the ground

fireworks barrage

It’s made in China. Quality control is not a big priority over there and with no regulating body, malfunctions are bound to happen. When it happens with multi-shot aerial barrages, the results aren’t pretty. The first one happened to my neighbor during Chinese New Year eve when a 48 shot cake blow up right after the fuse went off.

It sent flaming balls of fire everywhere and I watched for a while before the tubes totally lost their integrity and sent some my way. I’m telling you it was the first time for years I’ve ran into the house. My neighbor shouted a quick warning and beat a hasty retreat as well.

It’s a good thing nothing major happened (except to the car of my neighbor).

fireworks explode

One of my smaller fireworks cake (a 36 shot) also blew up on the ground a few minutes later. However, this happened after most of it has been sent flying into the air to burst at the proper distance so the damage isn’t that bad.

I was filming it too, and I didn’t even realize it blew up until I felt something zip past me into the house and set one of my t shirts on fire. I was remarkably calm in the video though coz I thought it was a plain misfire (when a tube goes awry) instead of the entire cake blowing up. I was just standing 1 meter away!

You can hear sounds of explosions and fireworks despite none going airborne and the clacking of flying cardboard mortar tubes flying everywhere towards the end.

My mom who was watching from the inside was more concerned since she saw the entire thing. However, most of it missed me though and it was lucky that it happened towards the end.

unexploded mortar tubes

The other lucky thing that happened is that some of the tubes didn’t ignite (see the white, unblemished cardboard) so it didn’t cause an all out explosion – this can happen if the explosive force separates the burning ones from the rest in time. It’s not a built in safety precaution – merely chance and luck. :)

Why do fireworks cake barrages misfire?

1. Well, it’s made up of cardboard mortar tubes.
2. These tubes are linked by a fuse to create an aerial barrage of pyrotechnics.
3. A catastrophic event happens when the tube is not loaded properly and instead of the fuse burning into the next tube in line, the mortar tube (there’s a lot in a fireworks cake) explodes, causing a chain reaction that sends all the other tubes into a massive conflagration on the ground.

mortar tube exploding

You can see where the problem has occurred – instead of burning on to the fuse, it explodes and sends the other mortar tubes on fire – the entire integrity of the cake has been compromised then (it’s not meant to go off on the ground but in the air) so the tubes all start firing in every direction.

explosion fireworks

This is caused by the Stepping Up 36-shot barrage and I had to pick up cardboard mortar tubes from as far as 25 meters away. :x

fireworks barrage explode

It’s a good thing this is my smaller fireworks cake instead of the bigger ones. I have a huge 20 kg one with 3” shells that would probably wreck havoc if it explodes on the ground.

Happy Chap Goh Meh everyone and stay reckless safe! :D

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25 thoughts on “Fireworks multi-shot cake barrage exploding on the ground

  1. HB, I would love to get some of that fireworks to use at the beach in San Francisco but won’t able to find it. Things made in China can be not well made most of the time lot ended up in the trash. You got it in the grocery store near your home.

    • Well, most of it works well it’s just every year some of them goes awry. :)

      I was just telling my friends I thought the KK, Sabah guy was stupid (died from a head injury when he went to check on a firework that didn’t go off by looking straight down at it and it blew up in his face) when I essentially did the same thing.

      I just peered down and looked. I didn’t even know that one of my shirts was on fire inside although I felt one fireball shoot past me. Heh.

    • This ain’t so bad bro.

      I’ve seen *massive* explosions happen almost every year. I’ve had one explode on me before with extreme results but I didn’t film that one as it was a repeat (similar cake let off for the 4th or 5th time). Oh man, that was really bad but it didn’t shatter windows like the time in ’06 when one of my 3″ single aerial shells exploded on the ground. These are usually smaller than display grade shells (3″, 5″, 8″ etc which are really powerful).

      My neighbor also had one explode a few minutes before mine. I’m pretty sure it happens almost every year, it’s only the severity. Sometimes you get lucky and it only blows up and sends a few stray shots around, burning a t shirt or two.

      Sometimes you get really unlucky and it can get lawns burning. Gotta keep a fire extinguisher handy (and not the CO2 types coz these things have their own oxidizer).

      Usually though, it doesn’t cause a lot of damage to people. I’ve never heard of anyone dying or being seriously hurt by it. Slightly burnt or bleeding yes. :)

    • There are people letting off fireworks and firecrackers here but the prices are insane – it’s like 10x what we pay in Sibu.

      I wanted to get one though, but didn’t in the end. Haha.

      Happy Chap Goh Meh Arthur! :)

    • Well, it’s not that dangerous – it just happens once in a while, these kind of malfunctions. :)

      Hmm…come to think of it, I burned my thumb on a firework and it became a huge blister and it still hasn’t healed now. Necrosis? :x

  2. Huai Bin, this is me checking out your blog after a long while since our first meetings in 2009, and the first post that I read after so long reminds me of the bad boy in you. :P I suppose that’s what attracts the ladies!

    Hey, happy new year. We should have a meal again some time. Do you know any nice places for seafood? In Port Klang, perhaps?

    • Hello Yvonne! :)

      How you doing? Hope all is well with you.

      Haha! Well, I just like firecrackers and fireworks coz it reminds me of my childhood. :D

      Hmm…let me check and get back to you. Happy CNY Yvonne! :D

    • Thanks Sherrie!

      Well, I’ll try but it’s just something that happens. I got burns on my hand and it only healed after antibacterial cream yesterday. :)

      You can’t prevent things like this, but cheers all the same. :D

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