4 hurt when experimental rocket explodes at U. of Idaho

Four people were hurt Thursday night when an experimental rocket exploded at the University of Idaho, school officials said.

The victims were testing the rocket in a parking lot next to the school's steam plant, when it apparently malfunctioned, Jodi Walker, a campus spokeswoman, told CNN.

They were transported to a local hospital with undisclosed injuries. Three people are in stable condition and one is in critical condition, KREM reported. Officials cannot confirm whether the people injured were students or not. There is no danger to the campus at this time, Walker told CNN.

Grant Thurman, a member of the Northwest Organization of Rocket Engineers, a relatively new UI club, told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News that the club tried testing rocket fuel the club created. He said one of the co-presidents lit the fuel and an explosion followed. Thurman said the man who lit the fuel was wearing a face shield and club members watching wore eye protection. The other co-president who stood near the explosion wore eye protection but not a face shield, Thurman said.

The man who lit the fuel received most of the damage from the explosion but was in good spirits, Thurman told the Daily News.