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New Year’s bonfire explosion sends two Smithers teens to Vancouver

RCMP investigates after total of six victims suffer mild to severe burns Jan. 1
Smithers police responded to call shortly after midnight on Jan. 1 that six people had been injured in an incident involving a bonfire explosion. (Black Press file photo)

A New Year’s Eve celebration turned to tragedy in Smithers when a bonfire explosion required emergency transport of two young people with severe burns to hospital in Vancouver.

Four others were also injured and treated for mild to moderate burns locally.

Shortly after midnight on Jan. 1, Smithers RCMP received a call that multiple people had been injured at a bonfire during a New Year’s Eve party.

About 30-40 people were in attendance at the party on the 4500 Block of Henry Rd, when something was dropped in the fire causing an explosion, according to police.

“We’re still working on kind of ascertaining whether or not there was any intent,” said Smithers RCMP Corporal Ryan Law.

“One of the things that was in the initial report to us was that something was thrown into the fire. Through further investigation, and speaking to people that were present, it sounds like, essentially, it’s pointing more towards the fact that something was just simply dropped into the fire.”

A GoFundMe page, which has already raised more than $16,000, noted one of the injured parties is being treated at the BC Children’s Hospital burn unit.

“Essentially, we have an ongoing investigation into this matter and we are currently looking for anybody who might have been witness to the events that led to the injuries, or anybody that might have taken photographs or video or anything of that type,” said Law.

Witnesses can contact the Smithers RCMP at (250) 847-3233 with any information.

About the Author: Morgan Powell, Local Journalism Initiative

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