Tornado Experiment Sends Eight Children to Hospital

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( — September 4, 2014)  — Eight children and two adults needed hospital treatment for smoke inhalation and minor burns after an experiment went terribly wrong at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno, police said.

Several suffered acid burns to their hands, arms and faces.

Another four people were treated at the scene.

“Of the 13 injured, four were treated and released and nine were transported to a local hospital, ” Reno Officer Tim Broadway said.

“There were seven children and two adults taken to the hospital with chemical burns to their arms, hands and face. None of the injuries are life-threatening, but we do not know their exact condition,” he said.

Broadway said they were hurt in an explosion caused by a tornado experiment, in which chemicals were mixed incorrectly. The Reno fire chief has called what happened a “chemical flash”.

“It was terrifying, “ said one of the experiment attendee, whose two daughters ages 6 and 4, a nephew and a niece were treated for burns on their arms and legs.

 “The one tornado wasn’t going, no one really thought anything of it and then she was like, I forgot to add this and added it, then everything exploded.”

Police said emergency crews were called to reports of a possible explosion shortly after 4pm local time on Wednesday.

City of Reno spokesman Matthew Brown said a preliminary investigation found that, rather than an explosion, the routine experiment had created a “chemical flash”.

He said the effect was similar to that of someone throwing petrol on a fire.

The museum tweeted that preliminary reports of an explosion were inaccurate.

“A routine science demonstration didn’t happen as usual causing a flash,” it posted. “The Discovery is focused on the safety of its visitors at this time”.

Officials said museum staff were using methyl alcohol and boric acid mixture to exhibit the whirling effect of a tornado.