SAN DIEGO -- The "Big Bay Boom" fireworks show at the Port of San Diego went bust in a spectacular way Wednesday, as the rockets' red glare and bombs busting in air all went off at once.
A massive fusillade of bright rocketry lit up North Island and the downtown area just before 9 p.m..
YouTube video from the scene showed a gigantic 28-second blast, with rockets and bombs bursting in a random pattern. Then, nothing.
"It looked like a planet coming," one spectator said.
Coast Guard officials said it appeared that entire battery of explosives on three of the four barges was launched at the same time, possibly due to an electronic malfunction.
"It looked like the finale ... you know, right at the end they shoot off everything." said Rich Dann, a civilian Coast Guard employee at the San Diego station.
Port officials said on the agency's Twitter page that they "sincerely apologize for the technical glitch that affected BigBayBoom. Event producers are currently investigating the cause."
More than 500,000 people were expected to line the bay for the big blast. "It took 25 minutes to get the word out" that the entire fireworks show had blown at once, said the Coast Guard's Dann. "On the water, there were people on the radio venting," he told City News Service. "A lot of people were unhappy, some had been here all day."