Sparkler bomb to blame for Arkansas teen's death

Friday, July 6, 2012 - 10:28am

One Southern Arkansas teenager is dead and another injured after a fireworks accident at a home in Buckner. The Lafayette County Sheriff's Office confirms that 17-year-old Justin Blake Smith died on the Wednesday night while lighting sparklers with 17-year-old Zach Ellis. Both teens would have been seniors this fall at Magnolia High School.

According to deputies, Smith and Ellis had created a "sparkler bomb" by taping dozens of smaller sparklers together, then setting one on fire and hiding the bunch under a bucket, before running away. The bomb, however, exploded before they could reach a safe distance.

Both teenagers were transported to a nearby hospital, where Smith was pronounced dead. As of Thursday, Ellis remained in the hospital. There's no upadated word on his condition.

Lafayette County deputies and the ATF are investigating.

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