Michigan man loses part of leg in Fourth of July explosion

Police say 21-year-old Hazel Park man appeared to have been lighting fireworks on lap before setting them off

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HAZEL PARK, Mich. - Police in suburban Detroit say a paraplegic man's leg was blown off as he sat in a wheelchair setting off explosives on the Fourth of July.

Hazel Park police said the 21-year-old was setting off fireworks and other explosives Wednesday in front of his home on East Hayes.

Police say they believe he was lighting fireworks on his lap before setting them on the ground. The explosion severed the man's left leg just below the knee.

The man was taken to a hospital, where he last was listed in stable condition.

Police were investigating whether the man was using legal fireworks.

Changes in state law recently made some more powerful fireworks legal in Michigan.

Other Michigan man almost loses hand in firework incident

Ryan Whitson, 41, of Taylor, said he was at a block party Wednesday when he lit off a firework called "The Kiss of Death."

The firework is a reloadable mortar device.

In an interview by phone from his hospital bed, Whitson told Local 4's Jim Kiertzner that he thought he had only received a gunpowder burn until he saw blood everywhere and went into the house to run his hand under water in a sink.

Whitson said he has lost most of four of his fingers and went through four hours of surgery.

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