Teen suffers burns from YouTube-inspired smoke bomb

Teen built bomb from fertilizer, sugar, and toilet-paper rolls.

May 5, 2009 23:41
Teen suffers burns from YouTube-inspired smoke bomb

explosion 224.88. (photo credit: Asaf Kliger)


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A 16-year-old boy with lots of curiosity suffered second-degree burns on his face after trying to build a smoke bomb based on tips from a YouTube video. The teen, a high school physics student, was treated on Sunday night at Rehovot's Kaplan Medical Center. The boy bought fertilizer at an agriculture supply store. He added sugar and stuffed the mixture into toilet-paper rolls. When he attempted to light one with a match from 20 centimeters away, there was a powerful explosion - after which he has no recollection of what happened. The boy told doctors that some of the videos suggested adding baking soda to control the smoke. But he didn't because it would have reduced the effect. Dr. Uri Shulman, a plastic surgeon at Kaplan, said the boy suffered second-degree burns on his cheek, lips and around his eyes, as well as on two fingers and the palm of a hand. The boy's mother said she had suggested he refrain from conducting physics experiments until he enrolled at a university, but he couldn't resist. "We are aware of the fact that it could have ended much worse," she said.

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