Four firefighters were injured — two seriously — while helping a Kentucky college marching band take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Thursday.
The Courier-Journal of Louisville reports the firefighters had just finished spraying cold water on the Campbellsville University marching band when electricity from nearby power lines arced to the ladder and bucket of their truck.
Tony Grider, 41, and Alex Quinn, 22, were airlifted to University of Louisville Medical Center Burn Unit about 65 miles away after the accident.
Grider, a 16-year veteran of the department, was last known to be in critical condition. Quinn, a part-time firefighter, was upgraded from serious to fair condition.
The electricity also injured firefighters Steve Marrs and Alex Johnson who were not riding in the bucket at the time. They were treated at nearby Taylor Regional Hospital and released, according to the Daily Mail.
The ice bucket challenge is a social media phenomenon designed to raise awareness and money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a condition often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
"We express heartfelt sympathy and prayers for the families of the two firefighters who were injured," Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, told WKYT.
No students were injured in the incident.
The ladder from the truck did not touch the power lines.
“(It) appears energy arced over and (the) ladder didn't actually hit lines. If you get within a certain radius that can happen,” one official said at a news conference Thursday, according to WHAS.
A prayer vigil was held on campus Thursday night. Many of the students who witnessed the accident said they are troubled by what they saw, but their thoughts are with the firefighters.
“They're heroes, what they do is completely heroic, they put their life on the line every day, it was a simple day, just helping some of the band students do a ALS water challenge and god had a different plan,” one student said.
“Everybody knows about it but it’s hard to talk about it because you know the emotion and the feelings of these band students who witnessed it, the families,” said Julie Smith, a junior at the university who helped organize the vigil.
“You know everybody is connected in this town. A lot of love has been given to everybody just making sure everybody is okay and nobody is alone,” she said.