RIVERVIEW, Fla. - A man lost his thumb and suffered severe burns early Wednesday morning when the lifting charge for a mortar firework caused the round to explode in the tube he was holding, according to Tampa police.
Matthew Lewandowski, 24, was at a home on Fairview Heights West where he loaded at firework mortar into a fiberglass tube around 1:30 a.m.
He lit the fuse expecting the mortar to lift off and explode in the sky. But the round exploded in his hands.
The thumb on his left hand was blown off, resulting in a traumatic hand injury. Lewandowski, a Riverview resident, also suffered serious burns on his forearm, stomach and right leg.
He was taken by Fire Rescue to Tampa General Hospital where he underwent surgery to reconstruct his hand.
He was last listed in fair condition.
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