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Two injured in acetylene explosion

August 11, 2004
Paraphrased by
Steve Waldrop

A 21-year old man sustained serious injuries when he reached into the back seat of his pick-up truck to pull out several balloons that were filled with acetylene.

Authorities believe that Loren Dauer, of Lindsborg, in McPherson County, Kansas, created a static spark as he slid across the back seat that caused an explosion strong enough to nearly take the top off his truck.

Dauer and his eleven year-old nephew were shooting the balloons with roman candles in the backyard of his parent's home around 10 p.m. as part of their 4th of July celebrations. With only a few more balloons left to shoot, the accident happened.

Sirens could be heard at the Lindsborg fireworks display being held at nearby Bethany College as firefighters and police officers were being dispatched to the scene.

Dauer and his nephew were taken to the hospital in Wichita where they received treatment for their injuries. Dauer was treated for cuts on his face and body that he received from the glass that shattered from the trucks windows. He was also treated for other injuries received to his ears. A wound to his young nephew's face required 30 stitches.

The force of the explosion was so strong that neighbors who had gathered in the yard to watch the activities were jolted several feet from their lawn chairs and the garage where the truck was parked next to received extensive damage as well.




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