The Charlotte Observer
A large pile of wood sits in a massive fire pit on a grassy area before a Florida school resource officer walks up to and tosses in a small flame, video shows.
There is a split second of stillness before a massive “boom.”
Orange and red flames shoot toward the sky, throwing wooden pallets into the air.
“Oh my god,” someone can be heard saying in the background of the video amid screams, cheers and whoops from onlookers.
The video, which has gone viral on social media, shows the explosion at an annual homecoming celebration at A. Crawford Mosley High School in Lynn Haven, Florida, on Oct. 5.
No one was injured, but school officials called the incident “disturbing.”
“Deputies and firefighters were already on hand, in line with our customary safety protocols, and so they immediately jumped in to ensure the fire remained contained,” officials said in a statement. “… Again, we know the explosion was disturbing and we sincerely apologize to anyone who was concerned or scared as a result of the loud noise.”
The school, which is located about 100 miles southwest of Tallahassee and serves around 1,700 students, said that this year’s lighting of the homecoming bonfire “did not deviate from our usual bonfire lighting procedures.”
The school resource officer who tossed in the first flame is a deputy with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and has lit the fire for the past seven years without incident, Sheriff Tommy Ford said in a statement.
“We are not sure yet what caused the explosion, but take responsibility for the incident,” he wrote. “Safety precautions were in place to include the fire department on site and the students positioned at a safe distance behind a fence, that prevented injury or fire but it still should not have happened.
“We apologize for any distress this has caused and I assure you that we are officially out of the bonfire business,” the statement says.
People who shared videos of the explosion on social media said they heard a loud noise coming from school grounds.
“Thought it was a sonic boom!” one person wrote. “Nah, just Mosley bonfire.”
Officials are investigating the cause of the explosion, according to the school.
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