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2 men face felonies for 'science experiment' explosions

2 men face felonies for 'science experiment' explosions

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Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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SOUTH JORDAN — A South Jordan man who told police he blows things up for his YouTube channel has been charged, along with a friend, with igniting an unknown substance that caused a large blast that injured his friend.

Jonathan Grant Thompson, 37, and Timothy Burgess, 20, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, were charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with possession of an explosive device, a second-degree felony. Thompson is charged with two counts and Burgess is charged with one.

Police were alerted to the South Jordan man in June when investigators received a tip from a concerned citizen that he was making and exploding dry ice bombs in his backyard and posting videos on YouTube, according to charging documents.

On Aug. 27, South Jordan police responded to Thompson's house, near 900 West and 10400 South, after another explosion. He told officers he "had a YouTube channel where he films science experiments, including explosions," the charges state.

Thompson further explained that a friend had "left him with a bag of unknown powder substance" which he assumed was a firework that had been taken apart. Thompson and Burgess decided to light it, according to the charges.

At first, police say they lit a few small batches that resulted in a small flame and noise. Burgess then allegedly lit a bigger pile. The ensuing explosion "sent small flaming particles into the air, some of which embedded into Burgess' leg and arm after burning off some of his hair," the charges say.

Responding firefighters heard the blast from their fire station five minutes before they were officially dispatched, according to the charges.

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