NEWARK — A 23-year old man died after suffering severe injuries by holding a large firecracker as it went off in his hand, according to Newark police.

The incident happened around 1 a.m. Sunday morning, police said.

RLS Metro Breaking News reported that the explosive was an M-80 style firecracker, and that the incident happened near 168 Pacific Street.

While the sale and use of non-aerial fireworks such as hand-held sparklers, ground-based sparklers, and novelty fireworks like poppers and snappers are now legal in New Jersey, large fireworks, namely any fuse lit or aerial explosive, still are strictly prohibited in the state.

Explosive devices commonly referred to as M-80s; M-100s, M-250s; M-1000s, and cherry bombs are illegal in the U.S., as they "exceed the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's explosive weight limits for consumer fireworks" according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Online retailer, Keystone Fireworks also describes the type of powerful firecracker on its website, "Make no mistake – M80's are not fireworks. They are dangerous explosives and should not be handled by fireworks consumers."

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