Woman's foot severed in fireworks accident near 66th and Keeler

July 5, 2013 (CHICAGO)

It happened Thursday night at 66th and Keeler on the city's Southwest Side.

The women remain hospitalized at Christ Medical Center in serious condition after being injured in a fireworks mishap at a Southwest Side neighborhood park. They are among nine people taken to hospitals after being injured by fireworks.

Relatives of Lorena Perez say they never thought their annual tradition of attending neighborhood Fourth of July fireworks would nearly cost the 34-year old married mother of two her life.

"I saw one coming straight at us," said Fabian Carmona, Perez's brother.

Carmona was with his sister last night as their whole family went to West Lawn Park on the South Side to watch neighborhood fireworks.

Witnesses say the horrific mishap happened as the finale of four fireworks was shot into the air.

Neighborhood resident Elizabeth Herrera says one of them exploded at the feet of Perez and her sister-in-law Kristina after a canister may have been knocked over by some kids playing nearby.

"All of a sudden there was a big poof of smoke and I saw nothing," Herrera said. I walked through the smoke and I saw the girl on the ground, and a lot of blood."

The blast blew off Kristina's left foot and Lorena, who celebrated a birthday the day before, suffered injuries to her left leg. Both were taken by ambulance to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Police are still investigation the incident as some rethink the safety of the un-sanctioned fireworks show.

"I've seen a lot of fireworks all around and that was the biggest fireworks out there, they always come out there," Gabriel Herrera said.

And this afternoon as both women recover, Fabuan Carmona says he will never look at a fireworks show the same again.

"I've never been a big fan of them, I try to stay away from it," Carmona said. "Next time I think I'll just watch them from the back yard, that's probably the safest thing."

Relatives said that Christina had to have her left leg amputated and that she still suffered injuries to her right foot and an arm.

Lorena is being treated for a fractured leg and severe burns.

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