Alaska officials blow up old fireworks

May 11, 2008 at 6:06 PM

ANCHORAGE, Ala., May 11 (UPI) -- Residents of Big Lake, Alaska, said they were shocked by a loud blast that came from a box of old fireworks city officials decided to blow up.

The incident began when relatives of Clay Holzl, who was a pyrotechnician before he died, stumbled across an old stash of his fireworks in a storage unit, the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News reported Sunday.

After struggling with what to do with the box of large commercial fireworks, authorities Friday said the best way to dispose of the materials was to blow them up.

"We were getting rid of it as safely as possible," said Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.

After closing down surrounding roads and warning residents, officers lit the explosives. The blast set the town rattling and shattered some windows.

"It sounded like a sonic boom," said resident Nancy Killoran.

Holzl's family said the boom was a fitting final statement for their loved one, who loved the sound of a good strong blast.

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