Oops! San Diego Fireworks Go Off All at Once

Owner of fireworks company blames computer glitch

A colossal blunder disappointed thousands of people who camped out to watch a Fourth of July fireworks display in San Diego when it appeared all the fireworks were set off within 15 seconds.

Watch RAW video of the Big Bay Boom here.

At about 8:55 p.m. Wednesday -- five minutes before the show was supposed to start -- a sudden burst of what appeared to be hundreds of fireworks shot into the air in the bay. A large rumble could be felt throughout downtown San Diego.

At about 9:20 p.m., people waiting for the display were told to return home. The fireworks show was canceled, a radio announcement said.

On Thursday, the co-owner of the company hired to operate the fireworks show blamed the mishap on a computer glitch but said they took "100 percent responsibility."

“We apologize to all the residents and all the people who missed their fireworks,” Garden State Fireworks co-owner August Santore told San Diego morning television stations.

Santore ruled out a malfunction of the pyrotechnics and said the early ignition was not a result of  human error. The fireworks crew was up all night testing and retesting to find out what happened, he said, and they are "pretty confident" there was some sort of glitch in a computer program that was downloaded into all five systems coordinating the fireworks at all five stations.

The company has backup plans if the display doesn’t ignite but there is no backup plan if the fireworks ignite prematurely, according to Santore.

The show took several months of planning for the company and, "no one feels worse than us,” he said.

"We were hired to perform and do a contract and there is no excuse," he said. "We will get to the bottom of it. It’s not something we take lightly."

No injuries were reported.

Here's a collection of responses from social media users who witnessed the botched display: 

[View the story "Fireworks Start Early in Bay" on Storify]
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