A MAN was blasted five foot into the air and left badly burnt when a family show went horribly wrong at the weekend.

Tragedy struck during the War in the Vale re-enactment event at Evesham’s Ashdown Camp at around 4pm on Sunday, when a misfiring pyrotechnic exploded in a participant’s face.

The man, an ex-army officer known as ‘Jim’ and believed to be in his 60s, had to be airlifted to hospital with burns to his left hand, chest, abdomen and face after the chemical explosive went off when he returned to his vehicle.

Paul Valiadis, a show organiser, explained: “After the show there was a misfire, and when the man returned to the vehicle the device went off.

“There were a lot of health and safety assessments beforehand and professionals were involved in setting up the pyrotechnics.

“No member of the public was at risk at any time and investigations are currently underway as to what went wrong.

“It was an excellent show, and what happened was a tragedy, but it won’t put off preparations for next year.

“Our thoughts are with Jim and his family, and we are thankful it was not more serious.”

One eyewitness re-lived the moment of horror as the man was blasted into air during a moment which visitors thought was part of the show.

They said: “This guy was standing by some explosive charges and it went off.

"It was just after the re-enactment finished and, for about 20 seconds, everyone thought it was part of the show.

"He was thrown about 5ft in the air, flipped and fell sideways and then landed on the ground. He must have been badly injured.”

The man was immediately attended by paramedics from the St John Ambulance service before being airlifted to hospital.