Teen Dies From Science Experiment Gone Wrong


An 18-year-old Thousand Oaks High School student who was tragically killed in a model rocket explosion has been identified.

Bernard Moon and an unidentified 17-year-old friend were experimenting with “some sort of chemical combination” in Thousand Oaks, California, without supervision.

The explosion took place at Madrona Elementary School around 7:40 p.m. March 4, reports KABC.

When emergency response arrived at the scene, two injured teens were found. Both Moon and the 17-year-old were taken to Los Robles Hospital, says Capt. Jeremy Paris of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

Moon died at the hospital and an autopsy report is expected for March 5, according to KTLA.

Thousand Oaks High School staff wrote on its official Twitter account: "Our hearts are broken. The bonds of faculty, staff, & students will bring healing. Thank you to all for your support at this time."

Students and staff are requested to wear green March 6 to honor the community.

"He was my tutor, and he was the nicest kid I've probably known," said student Jack Finnerty.

Moon was a gifted student who had placed in the Ventura County science fair in 2015 and 2014, reports KTLA.

“Brilliant boys, good boys. ... This was just a horrible science project accident gone wrong," said parent Tammy Coburn, who was at the school following the incident.

One of Moon’s friends, whom he met at summer camp in Sacramento, said the victim had been accepted to Brown University and UC Berkeley with a prestigious scholarship.

"It's been only about 9 months since I have known Bernard, but I can tell you without a doubt that he was one of the most caring, intelligent, and charismatic individuals I have ever met," friend William Kim wrote on Facebook.

"Even if you don't know who Bernard is, please include him in your prayers and please, don't risk doing anything stupid during this time of the year," Kim continued. "We still have a long life ahead of us. Also, don't take your friends for granted guys. You never know when they will leave."

Sources: KABC, KTLA / Photo credit: Facebook via KTLA

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