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Associated Press, Published May 30 2012

Doctors find fireworks device in man's chest; Bomb squad called to operating room

ST. PAUL — A Minnesota man is in critical condition after surgeons removed an unexploded firework from his chest.

Nick Beheng, 31, was launching fireworks from a hand-held mortar tube Saturday when one of two misfired, according to Anoka County Sheriff's Detective Mike Lapham.

"He lit the tube. One propelled into the air. The other went directly into his chest," Lapham said.

Beheng was rushed to St. Paul's Regions Hospital, where surgeons summoned the police bomb squad. Police Sgt. Paul Paulos says the bomb squad stood by in the waiting room as the explosive was removed, then took it to a bunker at their training facility in Rosemount.

Paulos says the firework is about the size of an empty paper towel tube and is capable of shooting several hundred feet in the air. The mortar fireworks are illegal in Minnesota, Lapham said.

"People that aren't trained to use them, use them and bad things can happen. It should be left to professionals," he said.

Beheng was in critical condition Wednesday, according to Regions Hospital spokeswoman Annelise Searle.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.