Long Island Man Blows Arm Off with Fireworks

Sunday, Jul 4, 2010  |  Updated 9:25 AM EDT
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Long Island Man Blows Arm Off with Fireworks

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BERLIN - DECEMBER 29: Fireworks stand for sale on display at a shop on December 29, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. From December 29-31 every year fireworks go on sale across Germany ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Take this as a holiday cautionary tale.

Police say a man lighting fireworks has blown off his arm at a party on Long Island.

Eric Smith was using a 3-foot long metal tube to shoot mortars from the street near his Islip Terrace home around 5:45 p.m. Saturday when the horrific accident happened, Suffolk County police said.

Police believe Smith, 36, leaned over the device to ignite it and didn't get out of the way before an explosive shot out of the launcher. His left arm was severed at the shoulder.

Smith was taken to Southside Hospital in serious condition while friends packed the lost limb in ice to try to save it. Police believe doctors will try to reattach his arm.

A hospital spokesman didn't immediately return a call.

Police said another person at the party also was taken to a hospital, but it was unclear why.

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