Teen Inventor Killed After Rocket-Powered Skateboard Explodes
A high school student in Thousand Oaks, California, is dead after a homemade rocket attached to a skateboard exploded Monday night.
Bernard Moon, 18, and an unidentified 17-year-old were working on the skateboard, which they hoped to enter in a science fair scheduled for April 20.
When the rocket didn’t go off as expected, Moon went to check on it. That’s when the explosion occurred, injuring the two teenagers, according to KTLA.com.
Moon died as a result of the blast. The other teen suffered only minor injuries.
The rocket was about 12 inches long and three-quarters of an inch in diameter, according to Ventura County sheriff’s Capt. Garo Kuredjian.
“It wasn’t meant to go up into the sky,” Kuredjian told News10.com. “It was meant to go horizontally to propel a skateboard.”
He said it wasn’t clear whether anyone was trying to ride the skateboard at the time.
The teens were experimenting in a courtyard at a Thousand Oaks elementary school, where Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were holding a meeting. Tammy Coburn, who was attending the meeting, told KABC TV that no one knew what happened at first.
“Nobody could really discern what [the explosion] really was because it was a huge explosion, but it was just all at once,” she said. “Just a ‘boom!’ That was it.”
Coburn said a Girl Scout leader who was also a former military member recognized the sound and went to investigate what happened.
“He quietly stepped out of the meeting, closed the door and went out,” Coburn said. “He’s the one that came upon the boys and then got the emergency help from a Girl Scout nurse.”