Cavendish: Eyewitnesses tell of bonfire night horror

EYEWITNESSES have told of their horror after fireworks at one of Suffolk’s most popular village bonfire nights allegedly shot into the watching crowd.

Cavendish Bonfire and Fireworks Display is sponsored by Cavendish Community Council and is regarded as one of the area’s best free fireworks shows.

On Saturday night, hundreds gathered on the green for the show.

However, early on in the fireworks demonstration it is understood at least one firework – some claim more – went astray and fired off into the crowd.

Accounts as to exactly what happened differ, but it is believed at least one person –a woman – suffered a minor injury to her head and was tended to by first aiders at the scene.

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Lee Nettleton, of Glemsford, was at the event with his two children, aged 10 and seven.

Describing what happened, Mr Nettleton said: “It had not long been going on when I saw a couple of fireworks go over the crowd to the green opposite.

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“Then two more went into the crowd – they exploded and did their thing. They hit right into the crowd.

“It was all a bit surreal. Everybody moved backwards.

“It was a very frightening thing to be involved in, we had to crouch and cover like something out of an American shoot-out film.”

“I thought they would have stopped it. I expected an announcement. There was a pause and then it carried on.”

Fellow eyewitness Ian Bareham echoed Mr Nettleton’s description of what happened and voiced his concerns that the event was allowed to continue.

He said there were “children screaming, parents running and dragging them away, people covering their faces”.

Mike Ward, chairman of Cavendish Community Council, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

But Peter Stevens, ward councillor for Cavendish on St Edmundsbury Borough Council, who attended the event, said despite the incident the night had been a “lovely evening” which had attracted a “very large crowd”.

He said: “I was aware there was a minor injury. It looked from where I was standing like a malfunction on one of the fireworks and a part of it went into the crowd. All of the others functioned properly.

“I saw the person who did have some treatment from the first aiders to the head. It was relatively minor.”

The East of England Ambulance Service said it was not called to the event.

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