Probe into Lewes bonfire celebrations firework accident

image captionA total of 400 officers were deployed during the bonfire celebrations in Lewes

An investigation has started after a 21-year-old man was hit in the chest by a stray rocket at one of the country's largest bonfire night celebrations.

The Brighton man suffered critical internal injuries when he was hit by the firework at Landport recreation ground in Lewes, East Sussex on Friday.

He is in a critical but stable condition at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

Sussex Police said he was a member of the Commercial Square Bonfire Society.

An estimated 40,000 people packed the narrow streets of Lewes to watch the celebrations on Friday.

'Seriously injured'

Sussex Police described the evening, involving 400 officers, as "a huge success" overall and possibly "the biggest and best yet".

The event included a procession through the town by bonfire societies and culminated in six bonfire and firework displays at various locations.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: "A Commercial Square bonfire society member - a 21-year-old man, who lives in Brighton - was seriously injured during the fireworks display at Landport recreation ground in Lewes.

"The man, who has internal injuries, is being treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. Police have been informed that his condition is critical but stable.

"Sussex Police will be liaising with Lewes District Council and the Health and Safety Executive to establish what happened."

On Saturday doctors said the victim, who suffered burns, fractured ribs and a laceration to his lungs, was lucky to be alive.

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