Two 12-year-old boys were injured Tuesday when a “modified pyrotechnic device” detonated, according to Oxford Police reports.
The incident occurred at about 7:45 p.m. in an alley behind 131 E. Withrow St.
When officer Adam Price arrived on the scene, he found a nurse from McCullough-Hyde hospital already rendering first aid to the victims.
The explosion was called in by bystanders who rushed to the scene. Nurses at McCullough-Hyde also heard the explosion and ran out to offer medical assistance until response teams and the airlift could arrive.
“The Butler County Bomb Squad identified the explosive as a modified pyrotechnic device. The investigation is still ongoing and follow-up interviews still need to be done,” said Lieutenant Lara Fening. Police said they believe one of the boys ignited the device.
One boy had a severely injured hand and injuries to his face, police said. Price helped the nurse apply a tourniquet to the victim’s arm to stop the bleeding. According to the report, the victim was also missing some teeth. The other victim had already gone into the hospital emergency room, complaining that his eyes were burning.
The boy with the injured hand was airlifted to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where he remained Thursday. The second boy, whose injuries were described as minor, was treated at McCullough-Hyde and later taken to the hospital in Cincinnati for further treatment, police said.
“This was a traumatic experience for those boys,” said Fening.
Police and hospital officials declined to name the boys as of Thursday night.
The exact nature of the explosive device and how it came to be in the alley remains under investigation.