Millions of Americans had a firework-free Fourth of July because of wildfire fears, but San Diego got a big show—that lasted less than 30 seconds. The official display in San Diego Bay was called off after at least three of four barges suffered what authorities called "premature ignition," the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Witnesses reported seeing a huge explosion and feeling a rumble as all the fireworks went off at once around five minutes before the 15-minute show was supposed to begin.
"I saw what looked like a fireworks finale," a Coast Guard official says. "We thought maybe they were trying to get everyone's attention." Authorities say a technical difficulty caused what has become known as the "Big Bay Boom." The fireworks company that provided the show "will be working throughout the night to determine what technical problem caused the entire show to be launched in about 15 seconds," a Port of San Diego spokesman says.