Former Southlake Couple Injured in Greek Fireworks Incident

By Randy McIlwain
|  Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014  |  Updated 5:56 AM CDT
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A former Southlake couple is recovering from injuries suffered in a fireworks accident in Greece. Chris Presmyk and his wife, were injured by homemade fireworks during an Easter celebration on the Greek island of Santorini.

Kevin Cokely, NBC 5 News

A former Southlake couple is recovering from injuries suffered in a fireworks accident in Greece. Chris Presmyk and his wife, were injured by homemade fireworks during an Easter celebration on the Greek island of Santorini.

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Former Southlake Couple Injured in Fireworks Incident

A former Southlake couple is recovering from injuries suffered in a fireworks accident in Greece. Chris Presmyk and his wife, were injured by homemade fireworks during an Easter celebration on the Greek island of Santorini.
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A former Southlake couple is recovering from injuries suffered in a fireworks accident in Greece over the weekend.

A group of American tourists, including Chris Presmyk and his wife, were injured by homemade fireworks during an Easter celebration on the Greek island of Santorini.

It's an annual tradition in Greece to fire rockets in the form of fireworks at rival churches after Easter midnight mass. Presmyk said he didn't realize until it was too late that some of the fireworks were homemade.

"We did not know, we thought it would be normal fireworks, but of course it was homemade explosive devices," said Chris Presmyk. "And so we were watching from the side and the explosive devices, they got bigger and louder, so there was a gentleman in front of us who said we should back away, and so we turned to do that, and immediately there was an explosion behind us, that was very loud and very close."

The Presmyks and two of their friends were flown to Crete for treatment. Presmyk suffered injuries to his face, his wife underwent abdominal surgery and is in critical condition.

"They assure me that she is doing well and that she will recover but they were life-threatening injuries," said Presmyk. "Please pray for her."

The couple's daughter attends Southern Methodist University and said she's been in contact with her parents and the United Nations. The Presmyks live in Romania and were visiting Greece for he holiday.

Friends in Southlake are reaching out to the Presmyk family to send prayers.

"But to hear this is happening, it's really disheartening, it's sad," said friend Gerry Benavides. "They're good people."

Santorini police said five people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Homemade fireworks are illegal in Greece and at least two of the people arrested face charges of causing grievous bodily harm and illegal weapons possession.

In a separate incident, a 25-year-old died on the island of Crete as one of the fellow revelers shot him unintentionally.

NBC 5's Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.

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