ATLANTA - Major League Soccer is investigating an incident at its All-Star Game in Atlanta that left several people with minor burns.
Patrick Jahn told Channel 2's Matt Johnson that he was with his father at the game Wednesday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium when, he said, he spotted falling debris from a pregame pyrotechnics show.
He said one of the falling pieces caused minor burns on his father's arm.
"If it's hot enough to burn through clothing, then it's hot enough to light something on fire," said Jahn, an Atlanta United season ticket holder.
When Channel 2 Action News contacted officials with Mercedes-Benz Stadium, they referred us to Major League Soccer for comment. They sent Johnson a statement, saying:
“During the pregame show for last night’s MLS All-Star Game, a limited amount of debris from the pyrotechnics fell into a section of the seating bowl. One individual received medical treatment at the venue’s first aid center. Prior to the event, the pyrotechnic vendor engaged by Major League Soccer had conducted a number of tests in compliance with state and local laws and regulations. The safety and enjoyment of our fans is a top priority for Major League Soccer and we are continuing to investigate the incident.”
Jahn said he noticed four other people being hit by the debris. Attendees said the smoke from the pyrotechnics show remained in the stadium throughout most of the event because the roof was not open.
"It's the safety aspect of it," he said. "Somebody decided it was a good idea to shoot sparklers at the fans and not pay attention to what might happen afterwards."
An Atlanta fire marshal responded but no major injuries were reported.
Overall, and from a security perspective, Atlanta police reported no major incidents and are calling the event an operational success.
The Atlanta Police Department spent months preparing for the event, which drew fans from all over the world to watch the MLS All-Stars play Italian soccer team Juventus.
"It shows we're a city that can work with other agencies well, that can plan and prepare and make sure that (when) hundreds of thousands of people come to the downtown area, we're ready for that," said Maj. Derin Schierbaum, of the Atlanta Police Department.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosts the NFL Super Bowl in February 2019.
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