Blowtorch Deaths Result From Exploding Strongbox

The blowtorch deaths of two New Hampshire men were most likely accidental, though police haven’t reached an official decision while the investigation is still ongoing.

The two victims were 21-year-old men, who were trying to use an oxy-acetylene torch to open a strongbox filled with fireworks at an area landscaping business. As the box became hotter, it exploded on Lucas Bourke of Allenstown, New Hampshire, and Ethan Keeler of nearby Epsom.

According to the Boston Herald, the men did not have permission to be on the property that late at night, and it was uncertain whether they knew the contents of the container.

The victims in the blowtorch deaths were already deceased when police and firefighters arrived on the scene.

According to, Concord Police arrest reports showed that Keeler, one of the victims, was arrested last week on a felony receiving stolen property charge.

The charge originated from an alleged incident on November 1 of last year at a mall, and involved an iPod Classic 80G player with 4,000 songs on it valued at $4,360. Keeler was released on $5,000 personal recognizance bail and was due to be arraigned in court on November 18.

Keeler had also been arrested on a felony forgery charge and theft by deception. Those charges were from an alleged incident at TD Bank, involving a check for $400.

As for Bourke, he was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of alcohol on May 18. He was released on personal recognizance bail, and was arraigned on June 10.

Unfortunately, this freak accident hasn’t been the only one we’ve reported on this year. In September, we brought you the story of a man, who was scalped by his own RC helicopter and an accident at an auto show that killed a seven-year-old girl.

[Image via ShutterStock]