About a dozen Brigham Young University students were severely burned late Saturday night or early Sunday morning after playing with gasoline and explosives near a mine shaft.
Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said that the students were in the Tintic mining district near mile marker 143 on State Route 6 when the accident happened. He said it was between Elberta and Eureka. He reported that they were dropping homemade gas bombs down a deep mine shaft when they accidentally spilled and ignited a cooler filled with fuel.
"Somebody panicked, the cooler fell over, and a series of flames ... caught the side of the mine shaft on fire," Cannon said.
Cannon did not know exactly how many people were injured, but said that about five victims were treated at Mountain View Hospital, then transported to the burn center at the University of Utah. He said that others were transported to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
Cannon said that area where the accident occurred is a popular spot for college students to play with fire, but that it is extremely dangerous and should be avoided. He said that the sheriff's department used to merely cite people engaging in similar reckless behavior, but has begun charging them with felonies because it could potentially kill someone.