A teacher’s chemistry experiment exploded during a demonstration at Beacon High School in Manhattan on Thursday, creating a fireball that burned two 10th graders, one severely, according to Fire Department and school officials.
The incident happened about 9 a.m., as Anna Poole, a science teacher at the public school, gave a lesson on how electrons react to different chemicals and give off different colors, according to students and school officials.
“There was a science experiment underway in this classroom and it went bad,” said James Long, a spokesman for the Fire Department. “There were students that were believed to be in the front rows of the classroom, there was a flash of the fire, and they were caught within that flash.”
A boy suffered severe burns on his face and neck, and a girl was burned on her hand, officials said. Both were taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Carmen Fariña, the new schools chancellor, said that the boy, whom she identified by only his first name, Alonzo, was in serious condition on Thursday afternoon at the hospital, and that the other student, identified as Julia, had been sent home.
When the experiment exploded, students dived under their desks and screamed for help, students in neighboring classrooms said. But the two students sitting near the front were engulfed in flames. Students and teachers helped put the fire out, and it was no longer burning by the time firefighters arrived.Here's the same story from the Daily News and The Gothamist. I find it sadly ironic that her students said that she was fairly safety-focused -- evidence, to me, that even the safety-conscious amongst us can fail -- and the consequences can be life-shattering.
I still don't know what can be done to stop this specific accident, but I'd really like to try.