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12/15/2003: Criminally Absurd Criminally Absurd

Obviously, They Weren't Merit Scholars
Or, Two MIT students' experiment goes up in flames
from Associated Press

BOSTON -- Two MIT students suffered from several first- and second-degree burns at a fraternity house after igniting a tin canister that contained rubbing alcohol, officials said.

Jesse Lacika, 21, of Boston and Jose Soitren, 18, of Cambridge were listed in good and fair condition respectively at Massachusetts General Hospital Sunday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Boston police responded to a fire report at the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity house on Commonwealth Avenue Saturday night, and found Lacika burned on his legs and arms and Soitren with burns on his left arm and chest.

A witness told police he was standing and holding the bottle of alcohol while Lacika and Soitren were sitting down, watching the flames inside the canister when it suddenly exploded, Boston police spokesman Officer John Boyle said.

No charges were filed, but the Boston Fire Department is investigating the incident, department spokesman Paul Walsh said.