Fire at Discovery Museum in Reno

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A tabletop science experiment at the Terry Lee Walls Nevada Discovery Museum in Reno on Wednesday, ended in a flash fire that injured 13 people, according to museum officials.

The accident happened at about 4 p.m. when a mixture of methyl alcohol and boric acid overflowed in a routine tornado demonstration at the facility.

The Cloud Climber at the museum YouTube
The Cloud Climber at the museum

A group of children was seated on the floor six to 10 feet from the demonstration table. A fire department spokesman said that the building was immediately evacuated, and the museum staff was reported as acting quickly and efficiently to put out the flames. It appears that no structural damage to the building occurred, and the museum reopened Thursday as usual.

Police said nine people were taken to a local hospital, seven of whom were children, with chemical burns to their faces, arms and hands. One child was kept at the hospital overnight and released on Thursday.

The museum director made a statement saying that they would initiate an investigation into why the accident happened. The incident is being investigated by the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Fire Chief Michael Hernandez stated that their “prevention staff” would meet with the staff at the museum to review safety procedures and make necessary recommendations.