Eric the Brainless was illegally using a commercial fireworks tube when the accident occurred. I'm sure somewhere in the instructions it states that you shouldn't stand your dumb ass in front of the tube when you ignite the boom booms. I'm calling it fireworks, although the story refers to the ordnance as mortars.
Professional fireworks mortars.
Not for neighborhood barbeque use.
Mortars!!?? Are Eric's neighbors in Islip, New York, members of Al-qaeda? Maybe Eric should experiment with hand grenades next year. He can pull the pin with his teeth like G.I. Joe, since he'll be down one set of digits.
China's diabolical commie plot to turn us into a fingerless nation.
As a lad I liked fireworks and explosions as much as the next kid. Me and my male cousins would chase each other around on the 4th and toss ladyfingers at each other while our parents watched and laughed. The girls would hide and shriek in horror. (I swear to God, nothing was against the law back in those days.) I grew out of this perilous tomfoolery by my 20's unlike Mr. Smith. Of course, I had the incentive of not ending up as a one-armed drummer like that dude in Def Leppard.
I like how the CNN story helpfully supplies basic fireworks safety rules for the benefit of the four low IQ retards that still watch their network.