Sunday, 30 April, 2017

University of Idaho blast critically injures 1

Moscow Police Chief James Fry right and University of Idaho Vice President For Infrastructure Dan Ewart give a news conference on campus on Friday The Latest: University of Idaho blast critically injures 1
Craig Ferguson | 15 April, 2017, 02:49

All four University of Idaho students injured in an explosion Thursday night in a parking lot east of the university steam plant are out of surgery and recovering, according to Dan Ewart, UI vice president for infrastructure.

The rocket blew up in a parking lot near the university's steam plant. "Any aerial type has to be done through the commercial type for example like the Fourth of July display", said the Chief of Police James Fry Jr.

Parents of the victims were notified, the University of Idaho confirmed, adding that all victims were "alert" and "communicating" with school personnel.

Officials said there was no danger on campus after the incident. He described it as a galvanized metal pipe, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and between 8 inches and 12 inches long.

The students are part of a UI club called Northwest Organization of Rocket Engineers and they were testing rocket fuel designed for model rockets, Ewart said.

The students' names have not been released at their request, but Ewart said three of them are engineering students.

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"We were testing a new fuel design for the rocket engine and we didn't have reason to believe it would blow up or anything because it was a slow-burning fuel", Thurman said.

Thurman said the man who lit the fuel, a co-leader of the group, was wearing a face shield, and club members watching wore only eye protection, the Daily News reported.

The club is made up of students and faculty who design and test rockets.

A chapter of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is reportedly assisting the Moscow Police Department in their investigation. Officials said one faculty member was on scene at the time of the explosion. The explosion caused wooden debris to be strewn all over the campus parking lot.

Bailey Lind-Trefts and Daniel Furman, co-chairs of the University of Idaho branch of Northwest Organization of Rocket Engineers (NORE), were two of the individuals injured in the explosion.

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