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Virginia Firemen Playing Prank Cause Possible Static Explosion

Paraphrased by
Steve Waldrop
August 31, 2004

A Norfolk, Virginia firefighter was sent to the hospital Monday evening when he became the innocent victim of a firehouse prank gone wrong, a department spokesman said.

The prank involved the use of compressed air to blast flour through a tube, said Capt. Garry Windley . The firefighter was injured when the tube he was holding blew apart.

Windley said the flour was not intended for the injured firefighter.

Witnesses near the fire station heard an explosion and saw an white substance floating in the air. Behind the station, men were seen covered in powder.

An ambulance arrived at the scene to transport the injured firefighter to the hospital for treatment. Details of his injuries were not released. The unidentified fireman remained in the hospital overnight and was released the next evening.

The accident is under investigation by safety officers and arson investigators. More information is needed to determine if any of the station's polices or procedures were violated.