Home / National News / 13 Hurt in Science Demo 'Flash' at Reno Museum


(RENO, Nev.) — At least 13 people, including eight children, were injured after a science project mishap at the Discovery Museum downtown, Reno police said.

Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez said at a briefing Wednesday that a demonstration simulating a smoke tornado malfunctioned, which caused a “flash” that “entered” eight children, burning some of them.

Hernandez described the injuries as minor to moderate. Museum patrons were quickly evacuated, he said. The injured were transported to the hospital.

Staff members were teaching children how to make a chemical tornado using ethyl alcohol and boric acid when the incident occurred, according to Reno Police officer Tim Broadway. The injured included children and two adults, who were transported to a hospital. Four people were treated and released on scene.

The building also sustained some smoke damage, according to officials.

In a statement Wednesday, the museum gave thanks to first responders.

“The Discovery would like to thank our staff for their quick response during today’s incident at the museum. Their actions allowed first responders to attend to museum visitors in a timely manner,” the statement read. “We would like to express our gratitude to all first responders that were on the scene within minutes of the incident. Our thoughts continue to be with all those affected today.”

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