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UPDATED: Man lighting fireworks hit by shrapnel in Plainfield

Published July 03. 2014 10:58PM   Updated July 04. 2014 4:49PM

Plainfield — A Sterling man who was lighting fireworks was sent to the hospital Thursday night after a piece of shrapnel from a cluster of bottle rockets hit him in the chest, according to police.

Plainfield police said Damon Luberto, 34, and Eric R. Bergeron, 36, of Cumberland, R.I., were lighting the bottle rockets in what was described as an “umbrella holder” at 4 Pickett Road. They set the bottle rockets about 50 yards away from the residence, lit a 4-inch wick attached to the bottle rockets and ran for cover to a nearby tree, police said.

But the bottle rockets malfunctioned and exploded. A piece of shrapnel hit Luberto in the chest, resulting in a traumatic injury, police said.

Luberto was taken to The William W. Backus Hospital, where he was initially reported to be in intensive care. He was listed in good condition and stable on Friday.

Plainfield police and members of the American Legion Ambulance Crew responded to the incident, reported at around 6:38 p.m. Thursday.

The incident remains under investigation.

Plainfield police warned that fireworks are illegal in Connecticut unless set off under the supervision of a licensed professional.

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