KANSAS CITY, Kan. Feb 19 Two Kansas brothers who won $75,000 in the state lottery are under investigation for allegedly using their winnings to buy methamphetamine and marijuana and then accidentally blowing up a duplex while trying to fill butane torches, police said on Tuesday.
The brothers, who were not named because no formal charges have yet been filed, were apparently celebrating their winning the Kansas lottery when the blast occurred, said Wichita Police Lieutenant Doug Nolte.
One of the brothers was wearing a Kansas lottery T-shirt at the time, Nolte said.
The explosion occurred Friday night while one of the brothers was attempting to refill butane torches to light a "bong" - a type of pipe used to smoke drugs, Nolte said. A furnace pilot light may have ignited the butane vapors, he said.
"They were doing something illegal and were also handling a fairly volatile chemical, and that's a recipe for disaster," Nolte said of the brothers, who are ages 27 and 25.
Nolte said the brothers could face drug and endangerment charges, since young children were present in the house at the time.
He said the older brother was taken to the hospital with burns and released on Monday, while the younger brother was arrested on suspicion of drug possession after the blast. He was also later released, Nolte said, but the investigation continues.
Two girls, ages 6 and 10, were in the duplex at the time of the accident but were not hurt, he said.
The girls are daughters of the older brother's girlfriend and their endangerment may figure into any charges, Nolte added. (Reporting by Kevin Murphy; editing by Mary Wisniewski and Cynthia Johnston; desking by G Crosse)