Criminal Justice

Teen faces felony charges in exploding water bottle incident; was it a science project gone bad?

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A video of explosions with the same chemicals.

Updated: A Florida teen is no longer facing adult felony charges after she caused a small explosion on school grounds in what her friends say was a science experiment gone bad.

Kiera Wilmot, 16, was accused of mixing household chemicals in a water bottle, causing the top to blow off and producing smoke, and the Ledger reported. No one was hurt, and Bartow High School property was not damaged.

Wilmot was initially charged with possessing or discharging a weapon on school property and discharging a destructive device. She was also expelled and will have to pursue her high school degree in an expulsion program.

But the criminal case was subsequently dropped, although it remains unclear whether she will be allowed to return to Bartow High School.

Students told that the incident was due to a science experiment that went awry. The school principal, Ron Pritchard, said he thinks Wilmot was just curious about what would happen when the chemicals were mixed and was shocked by the result. “She is a good kid,” he said.

The Miami New Times obtained a police report that said Wilmot mixed toilet bowl cleaner with aluminum foil, “a combination that has inspired hundreds of YouTube videos and generally produces a fairly unimpressive explosion,” the New Times said. According to the police report, Wilmot told police that she thought the combination “would just cause some smoke.”

Police report:

Wilmot Arrest by Tim Elfrink

Updated at 9:41 a.m. to embed the police report and on May 16 to include information that the criminal case had been dropped.

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