Man in America dies after trying to launch firework off head

Devon Staples

A man who was celebrating Independence Day in the US has died trying to launch a firework from the top of his head.

Devon Staples, 22, was drinking with friends and letting off fireworks on Saturday night, authorities say.

"He placed a reloadable fireworks mortar tube on his head and told his friends he was going to light it," said Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for Maine's Department of Public Safety.

"Apparently, he thought that was a great idea," he added.

He was the kind of person who would pretend to do something stupid to make people laugh
Cody Staples

"His friends thought they'd dissuaded him from doing it, and the next thing they knew, he ignited the fireworks and he was killed instantly."

Devon's brother, Cody Staples, says he was nearby when his brother lit the firework.

"There was no rushing him to the hospital. There was no Devon left when I got there," Cody told the Daily News of New York, describing it as an accident.

"Devon was not the kind of person who would do something stupid.

"He was the kind of person who would pretend to do something stupid to make people laugh."

Up until 2012, fireworks were outlawed in the state of Maine. The law was changed as it was thought it would create jobs.

Devon, who was from Calais, a small city on the Canadian border, is the first person to die in an incident involving fireworks since they were made legal.

A 32-year-old man in Montana was also killed on Saturday in a fireworks accident involving a mortar tube.

Meanwhile, a man aged 52 from New Jersey set off a tennis ball-sized firework which blew off a large part of his left leg below the knee.

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