A “technical glitch” caused all of the fireworks to go off at the same time.
According to Garden State Fireworks, The signal that was sent to the barges to “set the timing” of the fireworks caused “the entire show to be launched in about 15 seconds.”
The premature explosion occurred shortly before 9 p.m. Twenty minutes later, the thousands of people were notified via a radio broadcast that the show had been canceled.
“This is very uncommon,” August Santore, a spokesman for Garden State Fireworks, told CNN. “There was nothing in the pyrotechnics that went wrong—it was the electronics.”