Chemistry Experiment Fireball Injures Upper West Side High School Students

By
Photo: Shutterstock

Two students at the Upper West Side's Beacon School were hospitalized Thursday morning after they were burned by a chemistry experiment gone awry. The New York Daily News reports that teacher Amanda Poole was "burning various metal flakes to create multicolored flames, when a blast shook her lab ... and spat out a fireball." According to a kid who was in the room, the fire "jumped" onto a 16-year-old male student, who was "burned from his torso up to his hair." 

The witness continued, "Literally, his left side of his hair, I could not see. This side of his ear, the left, was twisted. His skin was melting. His eyelids were kind of messed up. His skin, a lot of it was melting. I was like, 'Wow.'" Another teacher, Michael Shum, reportedly put out the fire by covering the teenager with a blanket, and Poole doused the flames with a fire extinguisher. The boy is being treated for second-degree burns, including possible damage to his airways. Meanwhile, a 16-year-old girl is receiving treatment for first-degree burns on her hands.

Students told the paper that Poole is a "stickler" when it comes to safety, and the experiment — which was intended to be a "fun" demonstration — is a common one. The Department of Education and the FDNY are investigating the incident, which sounds truly awful for everyone involved.