Museum's 'Smoke Tornado' Goes Horribly Wrong

13 injured at Nevada Discovery Museum

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 3, 2014 11:39 PM CDT | Updated Sep 4, 2014 12:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – Eight children were among 13 people hurt when an attempt to create a whirling "smoke tornado" went badly wrong at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno, Nev., yesterday. Initial reports said there had been an explosion, but a police spokesman tells the Reno Gazette-Journal that the accident created a chemical flash "similar to if someone threw gasoline on a fire." A city spokesman says there was a problem with the mixture of methyl alcohol and boric acid routinely used for the demonstration, reports Reuters. Nine of the injured were treated for acid burns and one child has been kept in the hospital for observation overnight.

Firefighters confer outside the Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno yesterday.
Firefighters confer outside the Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno yesterday.   (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)
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