Dead Teens Lighted Fireworks On Oil Tank

MONDAY, JUNE 23, 1997

Two teenagers died early Sunday when they sat down on an oil tank and lighted fireworks, setting off an explosion that could be seen for miles.

Authorities found the bodies in a field, about 250 feet away from where the 20,000-gallon tank exploded just after 1 a.m. about 50 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.

“We believe they were on top of the tank when it ignited,” said Seminole County Sheriff Charles Sisco.

Authorities had not positively identified the victims by Sunday evening but believed they were Tim Choate, 15, and his best friend, Michael Untersee, 13. One of the boys had fireworks and house matches in his pocket, authorities said.

“They liked to hang out there, get on top because it’s out of the weeds, sit there and talk in the night,” Sisco said. “This was their little clubhouse, so to speak.”

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