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Fireworks from Nagaoka City, Japan explode over Ford Island to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

A woman was killed in a New Year's Day fireworks explosion in Hawaii


A woman was killed and a man was critically injured in a fireworks explosion at a New Year's Day gathering on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. 

Authorities said the pair had been lighting illegal fireworks when the explosion happened just after midnight. 

Capt. Kevin Mokulehua with the Honolulu Fire Department told the local TV station, KHON, that a bystander had already started CPR on the 38-year-old woman when emergency crews arrived at Campbell Industrial Park in Kapolei. 

The female victim was taken to the hospital where she later died from her injuries. The 36-year-old man, who was also injured in the explosion, remains in critical condition. 

Honolulu's Emergency Medical Services said the woman's death was among dozens of other fireworks-related incidents. The agency responded to 28 calls in just the first hour of 2017. 

Mokulehua said the fire department also had a busy weekend. 

“The Honolulu Fire Dept. responded to 19 fireworks related incidents which doubled last year’s incident totals,” Mokulehua told KHON. "Most of the incidents were wildland fires, some structure fires and other miscellaneous fires."

Honolulu City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi told KHON that although setting off fireworks is a cultural tradition, people still need to be responsible. 

In 1996, Hawaii changed its law on fireworks, making it legal for people to buy as many non-aerial fireworks as they want. It was an attempt to keep people from shooting off aerial fireworks from home, according to KHON

Police have opened an unattended death and prohibited explosive device investigation in connection with this weekend's incident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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