Garden State Fireworks had a spectacular 20-minute Independence Day show locked and loaded Wednesday night. However, a computer glitch caused all three barges filled with pyrotechnics to ignite at the same time.
The bug created a huge ball of white glare that was over in about 15 seconds, much to the dismay of thousands of spectators who crowded into downtown San Diego.
"We did last year's show and this one was to be even bigger," August Santore, co-owner of Garden State Fireworks told the San Diego U-T. "We did this show in 30 locations around the country last night and this was the first time this has happened."
Santore told the newspaper the display was in place aboard three barges in the bay on Monday and the wiring and computer was thoroughly and repeatedly tested. "Everything was in sync," Santore said. "The computer coordinates in milliseconds. A signal was sent to the barges and had a corrupted file that said, 'we're going to fire everything.'"
Santore said the company would make good and put on another show sometime in the coming months.
Although Garden State said it would waive the $125,000 price tag for the show, KGTV-TV, San Diego, noted the city spent nearly $300,000 Wednesday on crowd control and other expenses related to the event.