New Zealand Rugby Union To Investigate After Fireworks Display Injures Fans
The New Zealand Rugby Union apologized and said that "it would investigate how a fireworks display malfunctioned and injured three spectators at Eden Park before the All Blacks' home win over Australia on Saturday," according to Greg Stutchbury of REUTERS. The spectators "were injured prior to kickoff when one of the pyrotechnic boxes misfired, causing an explosion that rattled enclosed boxes at the Auckland stadium and left a large amount of debris on the ground." One of the injured spectators "was photographed with blood spread across his forehead, while another was taken to Auckland City hospital." A spokesperson for the hospital said on Sunday that "they had been treated and discharged." NZRU CEO Steve Tew said that "the governing body would work with health and safety officials, the pyrotechnics company and Eden Park management to ascertain what went wrong." Tew said, "Something has clearly gone wrong and we are urgently conducting a review of what happened" (REUTERS, 8/24). FAIRFAX MEDIA reported a spectator said that there was panic "as the deafening boom from the fireworks caused spectators to duck below their seats." She said that they "were then hit by what felt like shotgun pellets." She said that she saw a man and a woman "with blood pouring from their head." She said, "There was blood splattered everywhere down the steps and chairs. I don't think people realized what had happened until the people got up with blood streaming down their faces" (FAIRFAX MEDIA, 8/24). The AAP reported All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said that "players did not know fans had been injured by the fireworks but certainly noticed when they went off." Hansen said, "All the computers in our room jumped off the thing and I thought, 'Ooh that was a bit loud'" (AAP, 8/24).