published Monday, December 24th, 2012

Six children hurt when gas can explodes in Texas

McKINNEY, Texas — Four children were airlifted to a Dallas hospital with critical burns after a gas can exploded on Christmas Eve next to an open fire pit in a backyard, a fire official said.

Two other children are in the hospital, one with serious injuries and the other with minor burns.

At least one of the children sprinkled gasoline on the fire Monday, and then left the can near the pit, said McKinney Fire Department spokeswoman Stacie Durham. The fumes from the can ignited, and all six children were nearby when it exploded, and the flames hit them, she said.

The children, ages 4 to 11, are related and some are siblings, Durham said. A fifth child also taken to the Dallas hospital was in serious condition, and a sixth was taken to a McKinney hospital with minor burns, she said.

The children were believed to have been left unsupervised in the backyard, where a fire was burning. Adults were inside the home at the time of the explosion.

A child who is believed not to have been injured ran into the home and told the adults there was an explosion and the children were on fire, Durham said. A neighbor called 911.

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