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Moorpark Woman Killed in Arizona Fireworks Explosion

July 06, 1999|From Times wire reports

PHOENIX — A pyrotechnics worker from Moorpark died Monday from severe burns suffered when an Independence Day fireworks display blew up prematurely in a suburb of Phoenix.

Federal investigators are searching for the cause of a blast hours before the start of the show at the Peoria Sports Complex that killed Michelle Galanda, 36.

Galanda was burned over 90% of her body and died at the Maricopa County Medical Center.

Four other employees of Salt Lake City-based Lantis Fireworks & Lasers were injured.

Jeff Fraizer, 36, also of Moorpark, was hospitalized in critical condition with burns on 60% of his body. Joyce Gyorwfy, 59, of Newbury Park, was in fair condition with burns. The other two employees were treated and released. Stacks of fireworks started detonating as employees were unloading them at the complex, the spring-training home of the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres.

Lantis workers had dug several trenches and set up a big steel tube to hold the fireworks once they were hooked up to a control board, said Larry Bettendorf, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

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