A homemade bottle rocket an 18-year-old boy made for a high school physics project has been killed after the rocket exploded in his hands.

Bernard Moon was killed while he held the bottle rocket filled with propane in Thousand Oaks, California.  His 17-year-old friend was also injured in the accident, but is now reportedly in a stable condition.

Image source: Facebook.
Image source: Facebook.

Thousand Oaks High School where Bernard Moon was a student released a statement on social media saying:

“Our hearts are broken. But the bonds of faculty, staff, & students will bring healing. Thank you to all for your support at this time.”

Image source: Facebook
Image source: Facebook

Bernard was just two months away from graduating and tributes flooded in across social media channels after classmates learnt of his death:

One person wrote:

“Such a brilliant mind with such a bright future. My thoughts are with the family. Rest in peace.”

Another wrote:

“Bernard Moon was a great guy on and off the tennis court. It’s unfortunate to see someone die so young.”

Another person wrote:

“Sad night. Bernard Moon, an AP physics classmate of my daughters, both interviewed for Brown together, died. Making a bottle rocket for school.”

It is not clear what the pair were doing at the school after hours.

Image source: Facebook
Image source: Facebook

Thousand Oaks High School was closed yesterday as the investigation into how the explosion happened continued.  It remains unclear what the pair of teenagers were doing at the school after hours.

This is not the first time such a death has occurred.  Last November, a Boy Scout troop leader, Michael Bently, 50, was accidentally killed when a homemade rocket hit him in the face in San Bernardino County.

Image source: Facebook

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  • It’s so hard to balance risk with learning. Condolences.


  • Oh no! But what else do you expect with young boys who think they know it all when obviously they need to learn more.


  • This is very scary. My thoughts are with this young man’s family and friends during this sad time.


  • RIP Bernard Moon
    Such Science Projects need to be banned. This one had Propane in it.
    I wonder if they will find out what if came into contact with which caused the explosion.


  • Poor boy! What a sad way to die! :-(


  • Very tragic. May he rest in peace.


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