Yes, it's our half-millennium Doofus Of The Day! Our multiple winners on this special occasion are a group of university students from Salt Lake City, Utah.
A group of Brigham Young University students had been dropping Molotov cocktails through a grate covering a mine shaft along U.S. Highway 6 between Elberta and Eureka, said Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon. The mine is in the Bergin system of the Tintic Mining District.
. . .
On Saturday, as the students dropped small bombs and fireworks into the shaft, a third group arrived with "large quantities of gasoline," Cannon said.
"Someone decides he wants to go a bit bigger, so they put two or three gallons of gasoline in a jug or cooler and put newspaper in it as a makeshift wick," Cannon said.
Several of the spectators were sitting on the grate with their legs dangling through the spaces when the jug of gasoline was knocked over.
"There were huge burning flashes and fireballs," Cannon said. "Two or three series of them came up. Then the wall of the mine shaft caught on fire."
. . .
Seven of the victims suffered serious injuries and were later transferred to the University Hospital burn unit, Cannon said.
There's more at the link. A tip o' the hat to reader Brian M., who sent it to me.
Y'know, I'd have paid good money to watch that - from a safe distance, of course! Talk about asking for trouble . . .