Explosion during routine science experiment injures 13 at U.S. museum
Experiment meant to visualize the science of a whirling tornado
A demonstration about the science of tornadoes went awry Wednesday at a Reno museum, leading to a chemical explosion that injured 13 people, most of them children, authorities said.
Reno police officer Tim Broadway said seven children and two adults were transported to the hospital for treatment of acid burns on their hands, arms and faces after the 4:10 p.m. PT blast at the Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum in downtown Reno.
Reno Fire Chief Mike Hernandez described the injuries as minor to moderate.
Broadway says four people were treated at the scene and released. He didn't know their ages.
The officials say a methyl alcohol and boric acid mixture exploded during a routine exhibition that is conducted each day to create a whirling tornado effect.
KRNV-TV aired amateur video posted on its Facebook page that offered a glimpse of the explosion inside the museum. Run in slow motion, it appears to show a flash and flames falling off an experiment table and onto the floor several feet from a group of children who screamed when it happened.
Hernandez says the museum was evacuated, but the building didn't appear to receive any additional damage.
A hazardous materials team responded to the scene to ensure the explosion did not spew toxic gases throughout the museum.
The officials say the incident is being investigated.