BYU Students' Bad Idea: Firebombing Mine Shaft

Molotov cocktails, fireworks, gasoline cause shaft to ignite, causing burns
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2011 8:36 AM CDT
A sign warns about mine shaft dangers.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Not a good idea: Tossing Molotov cocktails, fireworks, and "large quantities of gasoline" down a mine shaft. A group of Brigham Young University students learned that lesson the hard way Saturday, and about a dozen of them were injured in the process. The group started off tossing Molotov cocktails down the Utah shaft, a popular site for such shenanigans, a police officer says, because the "gas bombs" hit the shaft walls and create "a huge fire ball up 200 feet in the air. ... It’s pretty spectacular, but it’s incredibly, incredibly dangerous."

A second group arrived and added fireworks to the mix, but things really got ugly when a third group showed up with "two or three gallons of gasoline in a jug or cooler" with a newspaper as "makeshift wick," the officer says. When that contraption was knocked into the shaft, some of the students had their legs dangling into the shaft through a grate that was covering it; they panicked as "the wall of the mine shaft caught on fire," the officer says. In addition to the injuries—some serious—suffered, officers are looking into felony charges and trespassing charges, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

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