Fireworks Explosion Outside Comanche High School Kills 1, Injures 4
As KIWANIS club members began to set up for the annual Fourth of July fireworks show, there was an accident just outside the Comanche High School this morning. Something triggered the fireworks as they were being unloaded and caused an explosion.
Local chiropractor and licensed pyrotechnician, Dr Russell Reynolds, was killed in the explosion. He was the town’s only chiropractor. The residents of Comanche have hung a black wreath outside his office.
“He loved this community,” said Leslie Johnson, one of Dr. Reynolds’ employees. “He was instrumental in starting lights down on the square for the people of the town. He was always thinking about other people and not himself.”
Four other residents of Comanche were also injured. Harry Dudley and Eddie Parker walked away from the explosion with minor injuries. However, there were two community members that were critically injured, Rex Plumlee and a person who has yet to be named. One of the two was airlifted to a hospital in Fort Worth for treatment, there is no word yet as to which victim it was.
All five victims of the explosion were well known in the community and had been responsible for helping with the Comanche fireworks show every year for 23 years. Dr. Reynolds was working with the fireworks alongside another, unnamed, pyrotechnician. According to Comanche firefighters, the group had obtained a permit to set up the show.
Everything should have been safe.
“We’re still in shock,” said Christine Perkins, executive director of the Comanche Chamber of Commerce. “And definitely in a community our size there will be some kind of ceremony to recognize the victims.”
It’s unknown what caused the explosion. Witnesses said that the fireworks went off in the trailer, causing the explosion that took over five minutes to conclude.
According to James Wilkerson, the publisher of the Comanche Chief news, there were two vehicles on fire when he arrived and the trailer that the explosion took place in was completely destroyed.
There have been reports of property damage due to the explosion, but there has been no word yet as to whether that damage was done to the nearby businesses or Comanche High School.
The Comanche fire marshal’s office and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the devastating explosion. In the meantime, the Fourth of July fireworks show that was scheduled to commence at the high school tomorrow night, has been cancelled.