A 13-year-old boy is recovering at the hospital after a firework he was holding exploded, severing his right hand, family members say.
The grandmother of Javonte McNair said her grandson told doctors that some kids in the neighborhood threw the firework at him, apparently as a prank.
“I wouldn’t call that very much of a friend to throw something that’s gonna explode at you,” said Minnie Pearl McNair. “I wouldn’t do that to no friend of mine.”
Javonte was getting ready for football practice Wednesday when he went to pick up a glove for practice from some kids he knows. Javonte told doctors that the boys tossed a firework at him, his grandmother said.
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“The doctor say he must have caught it to blow his hand off,” she said.
After the explosion, she said he ran home to tell his frightened mother what happened.
“It’s close to losing a child to see your child coming in with a nub and no hand is there,” she said.
The firework went off in a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood near Sunrise Boulevard and Powerline Road near 16th Street and 9th Avenue. Police and Fire Rescue combed the scene for clues Wednesday afternoon. Rashad Woodard remembered hearing the firework explode.
“Boom,” he said. “Sounded like a gunshot.”
Javonte’s grandmother said paramedics were able to recover most of his hand. She said her grandson is in tremendous pain and is scared.
“He’s worried about playing football,” she said. “He’s worried about if he go to sleep, is he gonna wake up.”
People on scene said a second boy also suffered injuries in the explosion and there were conflicting accounts of what happened with the firework.
Javonte’s grandmother said her grandson is adamant that a boy threw the firework at him and he caught it as a reflex.
“To be riding on a bicycle and somebody throws something at you?” she said. “Explosives? That’s terrible. To me, that’s criminal.”
His grandmother said the boy was in surgery Wednesday night. She said doctors told the family they will not be able to reattach his hand because the hand was too torn up from the explosion.
Fort Lauderdale Police interviewed the child at the hospital. A police spokesperson said they are looking into what led to the boy’s injuries.