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Woman Who Lost Eye After Firework Exploded In Her Face Calls For Ban On Sale

Amber Lewis

A woman who lost an eye after a firework exploded in her face has called for a ban on their sale to members of the public, as new figures revealed more than 1,000 emergency incidents involving the explosives were reported in the last three years.

Amber Lewis suffered facial injuries “like something out of a horror movie” after the accident in the garden of her home on 31 January.

The 46-year-old from Cardiff, Wales had an eye removed and was nearly completely blinded as her other eye was also injured in the incident.

Amber Lewis
Amber Lewis

She has now called for a ban on over-the-counter firework sales, as figures obtained by Sky News showed firefighters have been called to at least 1,084 incidents involving the explosives in the UK since the start of 2018.

They included 20 incidents where fireworks were used to attack firefighters, according to data released by fire services under the Freedom of Information Act.

Ms Lewis told Sky News she fears more accidents like hers will occur this year in the run up to Bonfire Night as organised firework displays are cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Amber Lewis

My concern is that people won’t understand the dangers,

she said.

They’ll see these fireworks being sold in large supermarkets and buy them and accidents will happen.

There are going to be huge amounts [of accidents] which is really scary. It’s not just going to be adults, it’s going to be youngsters as well.

Ms Lewis said she bought the firework that caused her injuries from a licensed seller and followed the instructions when it went off “multiple times” and struck her face.

The pain was nothing like I can explain,

she said.

It was a constant burn and there was a horrible smell.

I burnt all my hairline and the firework had gone up my nose as well.

I looked in the mirror and my eyeball had turned black.

It looked like something out of a horror movie.

I was really lucky not to have been totally blinded because I have scars on my right eye as well.

Ms Lewis, who suffered her injuries at a family gathering, was rushed to hospital where she was told her eye would be removed the next morning.

I’ve never been so scared in my whole life,

she said.

It took a long time to stop having bad nightmares. For the first few weeks I couldn’t even talk to people or say what had happened.

I

f I looked in the mirror, it was a constant reminder every morning about what happened.

Ms Lewis, who only had a prosthetic eye fitted three weeks ago due to delays caused by COVID-19, told Sky News that if a ban on the public sale of fireworks cannot be introduced quickly then people should be made to take a safety course before buying them.

Ms Lewis
Ms Lewis

I honestly never knew the dangers of fireworks,

she added.

I feel like if I’d had to do a day’s training, or sign a disclaimer, I would have realised the danger of fireworks and I wouldn’t have done this.

Meanwhile, the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC) has urged people to “think twice” about setting off fireworks themselves.



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