A man from Northamptonshire was declared dead by rescue workers after a firework went off in his face in Pattaya, Thailand. 50-year-old Gary McLaren was in the resort town celebrating the New Year with his Thai fiancée and their friends. After a failed attempt at lighting a firework, the Brit continued to try and light the defective firework which went off in his face without warning.
While ushering in the new year, McLaren had gone partying with his fiancée and some of their friends. The group was partying at the Miami a Gogo bar the night of the incident. Witnesses claimed that McLaren went out of the club and onto the street close to midnight, with a 50cm long firework in his hands. Other people on the street lined with bars and strip clubs were lighting fireworks on the street.
McLaren wanted to ignite the firework, which he tried to do with a lighter. His first attempt at igniting the firework failed. He continued to apply the flame to the firework.
The Telegraph reported that a bar worker, Wassana Ngontai, narrated the incident to the press. Ngontai claimed that on the second attempt, the firework started to give off smoke but McLaren did not move away from it. Suddenly the firework exploded right in the face of the British reveller.
As soon as the firework went off, McLaren collapsed on the spot with blood pouring from his face. Police and rescue workers arrived on the site after receiving news that a man had been injured by fireworks. The rescue workers tried to resuscitate McLaren, but he was already dead.
The Daily Mail shared images of McLaren's fiancée hugging and crying over his white sheet-covered body. The street can be seen littered with trash as well as blood from the victim.
McLaren, who worked with the International Road Racing Teams Association according to his LinkedIn profile, had been living in Thailand since graduating from Tresham College, near Kettering. He got engaged to his fiancée, identified as Jasmine, in 2018 when he proposed to her in a snooker club.
MotoGP paid tribute to the man who had worked with the Suzuki MotoGP team for 11 years.