Skip to Main Content

13 Injured In Science Museum Explosion

Several children were among the 13 people injured in a chemical explosion at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno, Nevada, recently. Official reports state that the explosion occurred when presenters demonstrating a “smoke tornado” caused the blast with a faulty mixture. None of the injuries were life-threatening. According to police reports, seven children and two adults were transported to a local hospital. Four other people were treated at the hospital and released. All of those taken to the hospital had suffered minor burn injuries. Presenters at the museum were attempting to create a "smoke tornado." A smoke tornado is a visual demonstration using a mixture of alcohol and boric acid. There was apparently a problem with the batch used that caused the experiment's malfunction and subsequent blast. Despite the explosion, no fires erupted and museum staff were able to contain the damage to a relatively small area. The museum is largely focused on children and offers interactive exhibits in earth science, astronomy, history and other subjects.


Unfortunately, this is not the first time an oversight by a hosting institution has led to injury to guests. In 1999, more than 27 people were injured and 11 were killed at Texas A&M University when a periphery around its annual bonfire collapsed. In 2013, two boys in Maryland were hospitalized after suffering burns during a supervised bonfire party when a 12-year old boy poured gasoline onto the camp fire. The boy's action started a flash fire which injured him and an 11-year-old party guest. It is important to note that property owners have a duty of care to protect visitors from harm and may be held liable if they fail to do so. Museum authorities have a responsibility to protect visitors from violence by non-employees while at their locations, as well.

In 2009, a white supremacist entered a Washington D.C. Holocaust memorial and opened fire on staff and visitors. 88-year-old James von Brunn killed a security guard and injured two other people. This year, three more people were killed at another Holocaust memorial museum in Brussels, Belgium. Owners and managers of locations open to the public have an extended duty of care beyond simply ensuring that no one suffers a fall or accident; they are also required to take reasonable precautions to prevent other types of injury and violence as well.


If you or someone you love has been injured due to the failure on the part of a hosting institution such as a museum to exercise due care, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical treatment and other costs. Do not delay in seeking legitimate financial compensation; hesitancy may negatively affect your claim. The injury lawyers in Las Vegas at High Stakes Injury Law in Las Vegas are here to fight for your rights. For a free consultation, contact them today.

Get A 100% Free Case Evaluation From A Top-Rated Personal Injury Attorney Call: (702) 707-5934 or Contact Us Online


Settlement / Auto Accident


Settlement / Tire Explosion


Settlement / Truck Accident


“After being in an accident my friend told me to call High Stakes Injury Law. A lawyer named Brian came to my home to meet with me and started my claim immediately. The legal team was extremely efficient, responded back to me quickly, listened to my concerns, and handled everything with speed and accuracy. Every step of the way was communicated. I received my settlement in 10 months’ time. I highly recommend using Berstein and Poisson. Thank you for helping get my life back on track.”


“If you are in need of a wonderful law firm to handle your personal injury case please read this. Three years ago I was that person. I had never filed a lawsuit in the 30 years that I lived in Las Vegas Nevada… trust in this firm, they will not disappoint you and you will feel the confidence that you need to feel in your attorney.”


“Excellent service. I was in a car accident, and from the very beginning all the way to the end, they answered all my questions and guided me step by step. The communication was phenomenal. This firm really took care of me. I highly recommend High Stakes Injury Law.”


“Very professional and friendly. A hassle-free process from the beginning. Very easy to communicate with, unlike some law firms that won’t even return your calls. I would definitely use their services again if needed.”

See All Client Reviews

I Was Injured In An Accident. What Do I Do Now?

By Scott L. Poisson

  • Do I Have A Case?
  • Dealing With The Insurance Company
  • When a Lawsuit Is Filed
  • Overcoming Common Defense Themes
  • Special Considerations in Specific Types of Cases