Pyrotechnic engineering is an important job and also a risky one due to the health and safety measures that must be taken to ensure that pyrotechnics do not put humans at direct risk of being harmed. Mike Tockstein is a pyrotechnician with his M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He spoke to Payscale.com back in 2007 and said, "Pyrotechnicians are considered 'independent contractors' in most cases. So there is no set pyrotechnician salary." Tockstein also said, "I consider this a hobby that I would do for free in most cases, so getting paid is just a bonus."
That might be the problem with fireworks shows globally, after an incident in India left 110 people deceased. The voluntary work of engineers at events that could end in disaster. An accident occurred on Sunday in Kollam, India, involving an unauthorized pyrotechnic display, according to FireEngineering.com.
A police officer on the scene confirmed 110 had perished whereas 380 people had been injured. Witnesses confirmed that the blast caused a power outage and flames and debris flying down from the sky. They also said people were trapped as the crowd tried to disperse. The event was being held in a Hindu temple at the Puttingal Devi complex in Paravoor.
Krishna Das of Paravoor, said, "It was complete chaos. People were screaming in the dark. Ambulance sirens went off, and in the darkness, no one knew how to find their way out of the complex."
Allegedly, one of the blasts sent concrete slabs flying through the air that landed up to half a mile away, Jayashree Harikrishnan said.
The top official in the district, A. Shainamol, said, "They were clearly told that no permission would be given for any kinds of fireworks." Allegedly, the first round of fireworks exploded other fireworks that were in a building nearby to the festival and caused the devestation.
This, just another statistic in a long line of pyrotechnic disasters that should be investigated. Pyrotechnic engineers are important in cases like this one and only authorized shows should go forward.
Here is footage of the blasts that happened on the weekend: