3 students hurt after home-made rocket explodes

A 19-year-old college student's hands were severely injured in a blast when an experiment to build a homemade rocket went awry on Saturday in Terengganu.

Mr Khairul Shahiran, an electrical engineering student - together with his friends Mohd Afiq Mohd Misran, 18, and Nazrin Che Mohamad, 20, from the same college - were building the homemade rocket when the explosives blew up, reported Malaysia's The Star.

The youths had initially told the police that they were injured after a box exploded, but further investigations showed that they were experimenting on making a rocket.

They had filled an iron pipe with sulphur powder, reported the New Straits Times.

Investigations also showed that the explosion occurred about 25 metres away from the house and not in the house, as the victims had claimed.

They are now being investigated for possession of explosive substances which may land them in jail. It was Mr Nazrin's plan to build the rocket.


"The experiment turned awry when it exploded while one of them was holding the can," said Kuala Terengganu police chief Idris Abd Rafar.

Mr Idris said Mr Nazrin had previously conducted a similar experiment successfully.

This time around, he was trying to improve on his earlier experiment by making a more advanced rocket, said Mr Idris.

Initial investigations revealed that the trio were not part of any radical gang and were not building explosives with the intention of committing acts of terror.

"They are not part of any radical gang and have no prior criminal records," said Mr Idris.

"We believe that they were only experimenting and had no ill intent."

He warned the public not to carry out such risky experiments, especially those involving explosives.

"Do not try to be a hero or a scientist if you are not sure of what you are doing."

Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital director Abdul Rahim Abdullah said he hoped Mr Khairul would be able to regain the use of his hands following reconstructive surgery.

"We will try our best to help him," he said on Sunday.

His friends suffered burns on their eyes and bodies.

Dr Abdul Rahim said their injuries would not affect their sights.

This article was first published on Nov 11, 2014.
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