Authorities in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., say a chemical reaction between fireworks and mixing compounds being transported in a car caused an explosion that fatally injured a Bay Area man.
Lake Havasu City Fire Marshal Chip Shilosky says the explosion occurred as 59-year-old Randy Feldman of Menlo Park and another man were driving on State Route 95 in Lake Havasu City on Feb. 12.
Feldman was severely burned by a secondary explosion of fireworks in the car's trunk, and he died Feb. 27 at a hospital in Las Vegas.
Lake Havasu City police Sgt. Troy Stirling said the fireworks that Randy and his identical twin Michael were transporting ignited while they were driving.
Randy and Michael were in Lake Havasu to attend the annual Western Pyrotechnic Association's Winter Blast, a five-day get-together for pyrotechnic enthusiasts, according to the association president Lynden King.
King said Randy was scheduled to give a presentation on building fireworks at the event, which ran from Feb. 12 to Feb. 16.
Stirling said the brothers were traveling on the highway heading away from the event that day when the fireworks in the trunk began igniting.
Randy was a passenger in the vehicle and his brother was driving at the time. Michael pulled over and Randy walked toward the car's trunk to see what was causing the fireworks to go off, according to the sergeant.
He ended up being badly burned by the explosions, and was taken by ambulance to Havasu Regional Medical Center and then airlifted to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, Stirling said.
Michael suffered only minor injuries and refused medical treatment at the scene, Stirling said.
Stirling said the cause of the ignition appears to have been a chemical reaction, but "since the product burned up there is no way to determine exactly what happened."
King said Feldman had been handling fireworks for most his life and was an expert pyrotechnician. He said the association will continue to promote the safe use of fireworks by giving seminars throughout the year on how to build and properly use pyrotechnics.
An online obituary states that Feldman was also a husband and a father.