Texas teenagers burned after powder from shotgun shells explodes

(Going for the Darwin Award in Texas)

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

(07-06) 08:00 PDT HOUSTON (AP) —

Two teenagers were injured in an explosion when they used a sledgehammer

to extract gunpowder from shotgun shells and bullets, police said.

Authorities were investigating whether the 16-year-old boys were trying to

make homemade fireworks the night of July 4.

The teens were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital with first-, second-,

and third-degree burns, Harris County Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery said.

The hospital did not release any information about the victims.

Police said the teens were grinding powder from the shells and bullets

with a hammer, setting off the blast in a Harris County home.

Investigators seized bullets, a homemade discharging device and a

videotape the youths made to document their efforts, police said.