Germantown man loses part of right hand after M-80 explosion [updated]

 A view of the West Queen Lane block where the M-80 explosion occurred. (Image from Google Maps)

A view of the West Queen Lane block where the M-80 explosion occurred. (Image from Google Maps)

A 54-year-old Germantown man lost part of his right hand after an M-80 explosion early Wednesday morning.

Police, who did not identify the victim by name, said he was rushed to Albert Einstein Medical Center after the 4:05 a.m. call in the 100 block of W. Queen Lane.

A department spokeswoman said the man was listed in stable condition Thursday morning and that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ local field office was investigating.

According to the State Police’s website, “state law prohibits the use of Consumer and Display Fireworks in Pennsylvania without a permit.”

M-80s, often said to be the equivalent of a quarter stick of dynamite, were originally used in military training missions, and are illegal for most civilian uses. Today, many fireworks are labeled as M-80 but, according to a fireworks-centric website, do not contain the same flash-powder levels.

Calls to the ATF seeking information about potential charges were not immediately returned Thursday morning. This story will be updated with any subsequent information about the case.

UPDATE: Fox29 is reporting that Douglas Ferrin could face “weapons of mass destruction and causing a catastrophe” charges in connection to the case.

A call from NewsWorks to the District Attorney’s Office to confirm that report was not immediately returned Thursday. A reverse lookup connects Ferrin’s name to the address to which authorities responded on Wednesday.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.