SAN DIEGO – Hundreds of thousands of San Diegans and visitors gathered at viewing sites all around the city for the 12th annual Big Bay Boom saw Fourth of July fireworks all right: One spectacular 15-second blast of every firework caused by the most-talked-about technical malfunction since Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl performance.
The premature blast rocked the bay and downtown just before 9 pm Wednesday, rattling windows and doors with one loud boom, startling many residents.
People continued to wait for the night sky to light up again, but the Big Bay Boom proved to be a big bad bust.
SDGLN Editor in Chief Ken Williams was with friends at the Fourth of July party at Top of the Park and witnessed the monster explosion over the bay that lasted only 15 seconds. He said the rooftop location, commanding a spectacular view of downtown San Diego, Point Loma and the bay, was packed with Fourth of July revelers who expected to enjoy the 20-minute Big Bay Boom fireworks show. The crowd waited patiently for about a half an hour, then began dwindling.
The fireworks show, presented by the Port of San Diego, is put together by Garden State Fireworks. The company immediately blamed the failure on a technical problem on the computerized fireworks show that is coordinated with classical and patriotic music that airs on the Walrus radio station.
Nobody was injured in the blast, authorities said.
Port officials via Twitter said they “sincerely apologize for the technical glitch that affected Big Bay Boom. Event producers are currently investigating the cause.”
August Santore, co-owner of Garden State Fireworks, told the media on Thursday morning that his initial investigation shows that the fireworks bust was not caused by human error or faulty fireworks. Santore said is “pretty confident” that the technical malfunction involved a glitch in the computer program.
“No one feels worse than us,” Santore said. “We don’t look for anyone’s sympathy, we accept 100% responsibility.”
Social Media lit up with more fireworks than the Big Bay Boom.
San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria: “Alright Big Bay Boom, you're on notice, this is not allowed to happen after Downtown is added to District Three. #maturefireworksonly”
Jeff Howell: “LAME! All the fireworks on barges throughout San Diego Bay that are synchronized exploded and went off at once. The show was over in 15 seconds. I'm glad I didn't bother going this year!!”
Drew Jackson: “LOL, SD blows its wad in 5 seconds …”
Eddie Rey: “#PrematureEjaculation : San Diego Fireworks Show- The Big Bay Boom Goes Seriously Wrong! Explodes All At Once!”
Coral Nowell:l “It sounded like a plane was going to crash!”
Gardenia Partridge: “Who’s the idiot for ruined the fireworks for 950,000 people? Lame!”
Chris Hassett: “Looks like the big bay boom is a bust. Harrumph!”
JC Kump: “San Diego Epic Firework FAIL.”
Taj Al-Taji: “I live downtown. It shook our house and set off car alarms all over downtown …”
Tamara Hauser-Espinoza: “Omg I thought a bomb went off! I saw all red out my window and I live in south mission hills.”
Ozzie Pardo: “Ok, it was so loud, I was skyping with someone in Japan and they heard it!!!! What was that?!”
Cindy Hendrix: "Maybe San Diego is starting a new trend for 4th July fireworks having Grand Finale as the show."
Kristopher Jobe: "San Diego accidentally sets all its fireworks off at once. Show over in9 sec, but I got a pic!"
Nia Jonesz: "San Diego, you've got one pissed city!"
Kristy Calisto: "Omg. Tell me that did NOT just happen!? #bigbayboom OMFG!!! I'm almost in tears. People have been CAMPING out for HOURS in the cold..and OMG"