All sorts of lessons can be learned from the explosion of a marijuana extraction lab in Timnath, Colorado. An explosion critically burned three people, including a 12-year-old child earlier this summer. Authorities are yet to say which solvents were involved in the blast, only that it involves hash oil manufacturing in an old tornado shelter.
Michael Williams, 35, began excavating the underground bunker last spring. Choosing for his extraction site a cavern 20 feet deep into the ground with virtually no ventilation and aged reinforcements weren’t even his only mistakes.
As reported by The Coloradoan, Williams told authorities that he brought butane down into the deep hole in the ground to make hash oil, and that he believed the butane vapor would evaporate.
To make matters even more preventable, the would-be extraction artist caused the explosion not with a run of the mill amateur mistake like static electricity or a pilot light, but by using a lighter. He told authorities that he was about to smoke some weed in the bunker when the blast occurred.
Williams, another man, and the boy all suffered second degree burns all over their bodies following the b
Williams, a 22-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy were in the bunker when flames tore through the bunker, swept upward through the entrance hole and covered the three people in second-degree burns, according to court records. They’re lucky they’re not dead.
Following the incident, first responders found that the bunker was full of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. They weren’t even sure where it came from, but it’s possible that a gas leak came from a bad pipe, meaning the bunker wasn’t safe for any purpose, let alone manufacturing with explosive chemicals.
Williams has been charged with a slew of felonies and misdemeanors, including (as per The Coloradoan): “knowing/reckless child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, child abuse while in possession of methamphetamine, first-degree assault with extreme indifference, two counts of fourth-degree arson and possession of hazardous extract of marijuana concentration.”
Photo via Flickr user Global Panorama