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A demonstration involving liquid nitrogen caused an explosion that hurled shrapnel into a crowd of spectators in Catalonia

A live science experiment ended in tragedy in the Catalan city of Girona on Friday, when a drum of liquid nitrogen exploded, injuring 18 people, local media reported. Ten children were among the wounded. 

The incident took place at the University of Girona on Friday evening, in front of a crowd of around 300 spectators. Celebrity physicist Dani Jimenez set up the experiment, which involved mixing hot water and liquid nitrogen, a process that usually generates clouds of water vapor.

However, when his assistant emptied a drum of water into the drum of liquid nitrogen, a powerful explosion occurred instead, sending metal fragments into the densely-packed crowd.

Jimenez was unharmed, and according to El Pais called the emergency services immediately. His assistant was seriously injured. A total of 18 people suffered injuries, including ten children. Three children aged between five and 12 years old were the most seriously harmed, and were taken to Girona’s Trueta Hospital, the newspaper reported.

All of the injuries were caused by shrapnel from the drums, several Spanish media outlets reported. 

“There were many people inside when the explosion occurred,” Girona Mayor Marta Madrenas explained to El Pais, adding that there was no risk of chemical injury to anyone in the crowd.

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