Las Vegas Sun

September 1, 2014

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Two teens still critical after bonfire exploded near Henderson

An accident at a desert bonfire that injured seven teenagers Monday night was triggered when a 55-gallon drum set on the fire burst, causing severe burns, Clark County fire officials say.

As of Thursday afternoon, two teenagers remain in critical condition while another is in serious condition, according to a county press release. All three remain at University Medical Center.

Seven teenagers were initially taken to St. Rose Dominican's Rose de Lima hospital to be treated for burns. Five, including the three still hospitalized, were later transferred to UMC.​

At some point during the night, officials say, someone from the group of a dozen current and former Basic High School students added the drum containing an unknown substance to the fire. The pressure in the drum rose until it ruptured, spreading the fire and burning those nearby.

The bonfire was started at an abandoned building five miles south of Horizon Ridge Parkway, where officials suspect the teenagers also found the drum. Outdoor bonfires are illegal in unincorporated Clark County without a permit.

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