Church remembers fireworks victims

GOLDSBORO Mark Hill, 21; Terry Holland, 49; Charles Kirkland Jr. and Lisa Simmons, all died in an explosion at a dock in Ocracoke Village July 4. Another person was seriously hurt in the blast.

The news came as a shock to church members.

"We didn't really know a lot. We just knew that there was an accident, that we had lost one. And then we came here and set up a prayer," said Music Minister Mitch Ham.

Ocracoke Island is the southernmost inhabited island on the Outer Banks, about two hours from the mainland.

Hyde County authorities and federal agents say the group was setting up a professional Independence Day fireworks display when something triggered the blast. They've ruled the incident an accident.

Click here to read more about the explosion

Lord's Table Church says Holland organized the display for a company called Melrose South Pyrotechnics. He then hired the rest of the group from his church.

Friends are trying to come to grips with the tragedy.

"People need to mourn. People need a peace, and look for some sort of understanding," said Ham.

Saturday's incident is not the first time Melrose South has been involved in a deadly accident.

The company's facility in Landsford, South Carolina exploded in July, 2001.

One person was killed and two others were hurt.

South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the company with several fines for the incident. It was given 10 citations total, with nine of them classified as serious.

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