By Tim Ghianni
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - A Nashville, Tennessee, boy was killed when an apparently damaged "exploding artillery" firework malfunctioned as he held it skyward for a friend to light, police said on Monday.
The Sunday night incident is under investigation and officers are trying to recover about a dozen of the fireworks shells left behind when two men brought the child to a local hospital, Nashville police said in a statement.
Antonio Braden, 12, had been setting off bottle rockets and Roman candles with friends when Joshua Woods, 24, began setting off the larger artillery fireworks, police said.
Woods told police he asked Braden to retrieve one of the unexploded shells that another boy had picked up, police said.
The boy threw the shell, causing it to break, and "the next thing (Woods) knew," Braden was holding the damaged tube toward the sky while another boy was lighting it, police said.
Woods told police the shell made a strange noise and Braden ran about 30 feet, then collapsed. Woods and another man took him to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
(Reporting by Tim Ghianni; Editing by David Bailey and Eric Beech)