ORLANDO, Fla. – Many people ran from Lake Eola during a scare at the Fourth of July fireworks show, leaving behind various items.
The Orlando Police Department said the chaos may have been caused by firecrackers or some other type of firework thrown into the crowd just after the main fireworks show began at 9:45 p.m.
Video showed people running, some even carrying their children, as panic erupted during the scare. At least 12 people were hurt, although no one was seriously injured.
The Orlando Police Department, in partnership with the City of Orlando, set up a lost-and-found at the Lake Eola House, where those who lost belongings during the panic can stop by to look for their items.
News 6 spoke with families coming into the center. Many said that while they hope to get their belongings back, the most important thing is that their loved ones are safe.
“We only lost a stroller, thank goodness,” said Jennie Colquitt, who was attending the fireworks show with her husband, children and mother.
Colquitt described the scene as a wave of people running. At one point, she said she was separated from her mother and son.
“We couldn’t find them, and it was terrifying,” Colquitt said.
They were eventually able to reconnect and make it to their car safely.
In addition to lost items, some reported attempted thefts of personal belongings during the frenzy.
John Jacobson and his wife Pat were celebrating their anniversary when the couple said they witnessed the chaos unfold in the crowd.
“There was a little girl — about 4 years old, I would think — and a woman with her, and they were just shaking and crying, so we took Lucy, our dog, and calmed the little girl down,” Jacobson said. “We got up, thinking maybe a firework was misfired and went into the crowd, so we ran this way here behind a pickup truck. Then someone said, ‘Hey, there’s someone shooting.’”
Jacobson said that once the area was safe, he returned to collect his belongings. That was when he said he saw someone going through his personal items.
“Then there’s some lady, and she’s going through all of our stuff. She’s picking up the umbrellas, looking at the umbrellas. And we yelled out to her, ‘Hey, that’s our stuff, leave it alone,’” Jacobson said. “We met a lot of people that were helping people. We met the best people and some of the worst.”
The Lake Eola House is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for people to stop by and collect their missing belongings.
Anyone who is missing any of their belongings is asked to call 407-246-2445 or email email@example.com to set up an appointment to collect your belongings.
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