Bonfire explosion burns several teens

Bonfire explosion burns several teens

GREENE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – A bonfire explosion early Wednesday morning in Greene County severely burned several teenagers.

About 20 teens were at a bonfire off Greene Road 718 when someone threw a can of bug spray into the flames.

Sheriff Dan Langston said the aerosol can acted like a projectile bomb when an accelerant was then added to the fire, and in a flash, it exploded.

According to the police report, four teens were airlifted to burn centers and one was taken to the hospital, all with severe burns on their skin and throats. 

Sheriff Langston said there was no parental supervision and alcohol may have been involved.

"There's numerous amounts of cans and everything, but we did not do a blood alcohol check because of the mass confusion at the hospital," Langston said. "We do not have any charges because we can't place anything in anybody's hands." 

However, the owner of the private property could file charges. Sheriff Langston said he does not know who owns the property, but if someone were to come forward, the teenagers could face trespassing or criminal mischief charges.  

"We have names and everything else so we'll do a warrant process and take care of it that way," Langston said. 

The explosion did not damage the area.

"You can notice that the other trees there aren't burnt and there's no scorch marks around here," Langston said. "There's a burn pile here, but it's all pretty much self-contained. It was a flash. It wasn't a roaring flame."

Sheriff Langston said he is surprised this even happened in the first place. 

"You would think young adults would have an idea about what an open flame would do," Langston said. 

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