4 hurt when experimental rocket explodes at U. of Idaho

Moscow Police Chief James Fry right and University of Idaho Vice President For Infrastructure Dan Ewart give a news conference on campus on Friday

The Latest: University of Idaho blast critically injures 1

Update: An explosion at the University of Idaho campus sent four people to the hospital Thursday night.

The explosion occurred in a parking lot near the campus steam plant around 9:50 p.m.

Both Lind-Trefts and Furman are in stable condition at Gritman Medical Center in Moscow, Idaho as of 1 a.m. Friday morning, according to the medical center's health supervisor.

Speaking to local news channel KHQ, a student at the university said: "When I did arrive [at the campus] there were some students out here yelling for help".

Ewart said that classes on the 12,000-student campus would not be interrupted Friday. Officials said the experiment was not meant to launch the rocket.

Grant Thurman, a member of the Northwest Organization of Rocket Engineers, a relatively new UI club, said the club tried testing rocket fuel the club created.

Ewart could not say Friday whether any of their conditions had improved, but said all of the students were now "alert and communicating". At least one of them was wearing protective gear over his or her face when the rocket fuel ignited, Ewart said.

Originally thought to be an explosion from a test rocket, Ewart said the explosion was caused by an experiment that was not ever meant to be a rocket or go into the air. The explosion caused wooden debris to be strewn all over the campus parking lot. Officials can not confirm whether the people injured were students or not.

The club is made up of students and faculty who design and test rockets.

The FBI was on scene investigating Thursday night, which is routine procedure according to Moscow police. Officials said one faculty member was on scene at the time of the explosion. The press conference was held to provide more information about a rocket fuel explosion that injured multiple University of Idaho students Thursday evening.

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