Coroner probes firework tragedy

July 4, 2023 8:27 am in by

A Hobart coroner has questioned why police didn’t get in touch with the bomb squad, after a party tragedy at Birralee in Tasmania’s north in September 2021.

An Ulverstone-born man, who’s been de-identified, died after being hit by a commercial firework he’d been leaning over.

The 58-year-old had lit the device after setting it in a metal tube in the ground.

Article continues after this ad

“I comment that, whilst the scene evidence was subject to very careful examination and collection by Forensic Services officers, a member of the specialist Bomb Response Group should have been advised of the incident on the evening of its occurrence in order to provide expertise in the immediate aftermath,” said Coroner Olivia McTaggart in newly-published findings.

The coroner found the deceased had likely lit the firework’s fast-burn fuse by accident, but has made no recommendations.

“The toxicology report identified that IO had a blood alcohol level of 0.101g/100mL and had cannabis in his system,” said her Honour.

“His significant blood alcohol level would undoubtedly have caused some impairment to his thought processes and ability to make sensible decisions.”