Man in Maine killed after lighting firework on his head

July 5, 2015 22:22

A Maine man died during a Fourth of July celebration on Saturday night when he tried to launch a firework from the top of his head and it exploded, killing him instantly, police said Sunday.

Devon Staples, 22, of Calais, Maine, was drinking and celebrating the holiday in a friend's backyard when he placed the fireworks mortar tube on his head around 10 p.m., said Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

McCausland said it was unclear whether the firework was already lit, or whether Staples lit it once it was on his head.

He was killed instantly when it exploded, McCausland said.

The tube Staples was using was a reusable mortar shell but said McCausland said investigators did not know what type of firework he was attempting to shoot.

Maine has allowed the sale of fireworks since lawmakers repealed a 60-year-old ban on them in 2011.

Calais is in the eastern part of the state near the Canadian border.

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