Man dies in firework accident after being hit by a mortar shell

HUNTINGTON CO. – A man has died in a tragic firework accident after a mortar shell exploded inside of a firework tube, sending shrapnel into the man’s body and killing him on-site.

The incident occurred at approximately 12:20 a.m. on Sunday, July 4, in Salamonie Township, about 95 miles northeast of Indianapolis, in Huntington County.

First responders were called to the scene where a man was injured while setting off fireworks, according to a statement from the Huntington County Coroner’s Office.

When authorities arrived they arrived to find 41-year-old Steven E. Sims of Hartford City, Indiana, with critical injuries to his abdomen.

The Huntington County Coroner said lifesaving efforts were immediately attempted to save Sims’ life, but he ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.