CHILDREN ran screaming after fireworks shot into the crowd during a Bonfire Night display at a pub.
Families fled in shock at the annual event at Poacher’s Pocket pub in Whickham, Durham, last night.
Families were forced to run after a rogue firework shot into a crowd at a displayCredit: NCJ Media
Footage shows a large crowd enjoying the display as fireworks are launched into the night sky.
But the calm turns to chaos when at least one rocket veered towards the crowd, sparking panic.
In another video, a woman is head yelling “move back, move” as rockets appear to fire into the group of people who have gathered to watch.
Shocked attendees were left “terrified” with one person fearing children would be left “traumatised”.
Ruth Chandra North, who attended the display, told Chronicle Live: “It has shaken everybody there up but the fear we all felt when the fireworks came towards us was horrific.
“Everybody was running and screaming. Kids were crying.
“I was never a fan of fireworks and always being told my fear was irrational but tonight has made me more aware of how dangerous and scary these things can be.
“I am still shaken up – and even more terrified of fireworks now.”
Poacher’s Pocket landlord Ian Heads, 49, said the event organiser had run previous displays and approached them to run this year’s show.
A fire marshal was in attendance with the firework organisers given access to the pub’s flat roof, from where the fireworks were launched, Mr Heads told Sun Online.
He said “at least one firework” came from the roof into the crowd, but that teenagers were also seen letting off fireworks from a nearby field.
Police came onto the site and told the pub the firework display needed to stop.
One attendee posted: “We go every year to the Poachers and it was never as busy and always a good night.
It has shaken everybody there up but the fear we all felt when the fireworks came towards us was horrific
Ruth Chandra North
“Such a shame for the new owners they are genuinely lovely people. They where not to expect all this to happen.
“We were next to the fireworks that came towards us and it was very scary and not nice. Hoping everyone is okay.”
Another wrote: “Was absolutely shocking. I’ve never picked up my kids n ran so fast.
“We were inches from being hit I really hope the ppl who were hit are ok.Our kids are now scared of fireworks.”
And another said: “It was an absolute s**t show! Have you seen the bloke trying to shove the fireworks into a bit of wood!.
“Unbelievable, it was a disaster waiting to happen!”
And one person posted: “It was so badly organised , queuing system was terrible, no barriers etcI just hope no one was seriously hurt in this event.
“There will be a lot of children/families traumatised with this event. I had no idea the fireworks would be going off on the roof!”
Wholeheartedly, we apologise to the entire community. It was not what we wanted to happen.
Ian Heads, pub landlord
Mr Heads has now closed the pub for the weekend after last night’s incident and says he has not heard from the event’s organiser since the incident.
Mr Heads told Sun Online: “We have only been here four weeks.
“They were in charge of the whole event. We gave them access to the roof to set everything up, but they ran the entire event in terms of the music, the fireworks and everything that went with it.
“Every year they do them from the flat roof above the kitchen of the pub. And they are meant to fire them into the wasteland to the left of the pub.
“Obviously something went wrong because one or two of the fireworks were dispersed above the crowd.
“At the same time, in the field to the left of the pub teenagers were spotted letting off fireworks into the car park.
“We had fire safety officers on site. They recorded three minor incidents but they were where somebody had a slight burn to their coat – not acceptable at all.
“What went wrong I have no idea.
“Wholeheartedly, we apologise to the entire community. It was not what we wanted to happen.
“We were trying to give something back free of charge to the community. If it hadn’t been for the awful management of the fireworks and the music, which was something out of our control, this issue would never have occurred.”
Sun Online has contacted the event organiser for comment.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “Shortly after 7pm yesterday (Thursday) we received a report of a disturbance outside Poacher’s Pocket on Market Lane, Whickham.
“It was reported that fireworks were exploding into the crowd at a planned display. The display was subsequently stopped by the organisers. Thankfully nobody was seriously injured.
“Officers attended the scene and enquiries are ongoing into the circumstances surrounding the incident.”
Children screamed in terror as a firework was fired into the crowdCredit: NCJ Media