More than 160 homemade explosive devices and 40 containers meant to be used as fireworks were confiscated in Beverly, Massachusetts ahead of the Independence Day holiday.
Police responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle along Northridge Road around 9:30 p.m. Friday, where fireworks were reported at a nearby cemetery. There, they found a large number of fireworks and material to make them including mortars and bottle rockets.
"It was a very unsafe condition for the neighborhood," said Beverly Police Chief John LeLacheur.
The Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad responded to the scene to safely remove the fireworks, according to police. The devices were destroyed after they were confiscated.
"Very serious injuries could have happened," LeLacheur said.
The police chief said three men were involved in setting off the explosives. There is now an arrest warrant out for one of them.
"One of the things that have us concerned, this individual was taking commercial fireworks, and making them even stronger," explained LeLacheur.
Officials are continuing their investigation of the homemade fireworks and said charges are pending.
"We’re not sure if they were just trying to make a bigger boom or if they were actually going to try to cause some damage," said LeLacheur.
The Beverly Police Department warns everyone about the dangers illegal fireworks could pose. Fireworks were responsible for an estimated 11,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospitals during 2016, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.