THESE are the horrific injuries suffered by a Wearside schoolboy after a firework prank went badly wrong.
Dylan Cosgrove 15, from Blackfell in Washington, was at home with his girlfriend Erin Easton on the evening of Wednesday, October 8, when he lit a firework in his right hand.
Dylan said: “I had been telling Erin I had bought some fireworks so I got one out of the box to show her.
“I didn’t intend to set it off, I just wanted to light it and put it out for a laugh. I quickly realised the fuse wouldn’t go out and I was in a blind panic and didn’t know what to do. I even put it to my mouth to put it out.
“This was crazy when I think about what could have happened if it had exploded in my face, but I was desperate to stop it going off.
“I was frightened for my girlfriend and I didn’t want to start a fire in my bedroom.
“As I watched the fuse quickly disappear I ran to the other side of the room to protect my girlfriend from the explosion.
“I remember putting my hand over the top of the firework to try to contain the explosion and there was a huge bang.
“My ears were ringing and I could smell my burning flesh. My index finger was bent backwards and the top of one of my fingers had been blown off.
“My girlfriend was screaming. I think I was just in shock.”
Dylan was taken by ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.
The X-ray showed that Dylan’s right hand had been broken in seven places.
Fortunately, he is left-handed.
After initial treatment, he was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary for further assessments.
Dylan was kept in hospital for surgery, further treatment and observation until Sunday, October 12.
Dylan is now backing Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s (TWFRS) calls for people to stay safe in the run-up to Bonfire Night on November 5.
Area manager Kevin Gardner, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I would like to thank Dylan and his family for telling their story, to try to prevent this from happening to anyone else.
“Fireworks are explosive devices and are incredibly dangerous. A moment of madness has left Dylan and his family with devastating consequences which they will live with for the rest of their lives.
“I cannot highlight enough the importance of the safe use of fireworks, and the potential serious harm caused by any misuse.
“I would urge anyone to report the sale of illegal fireworks to the police and not to buy them.
“Licensed fireworks are explosives but buying fireworks from none reputable or licensed retailers is asking for trouble – you simply do not know what is in them or how they will react.”