Houston, TX – 6 children were hospitalized, and a further half-dozen were injured after suffering burns from a science experiment outside their Memorial Villages-area day school.
According to the Yellow School officials, the young children were outside working on the experiment when it exploded. According to Fire Department Chief David Foster, the teacher mixed boric acid with methanol, apparently, and tried to light it on fire. Nothing happened, so the teacher added more alcohol and lit the mixture again. Then there was an explosion.
A 5-year student described the lesson as a “fire experiment.” She and other students watched as an administrator changed the colors of the flames. Then she said there was a loud explosion. She recalled many of her classmates screaming and crying.
The blast caused pandemonium at the school. Those children taken to the hospital were in good condition, said Memorial Hermann spokeswoman Rhiannon Collette. As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, all but one had been released from the hospital.
The type of chemicals that landed on the students was not immediately released. The Houston Fire Department sent an additional ambulance to the school.
“This incident will be investigated swiftly and thoroughly, and we will keep the congregation up to date as more facts emerge,” the school said in a statement on the website. “Our primary concern is the health and safety of our children, and The Yellow School asks for your prayers for the injured and their families, as well as staff and students.”
Wind may have played a factor in the explosion, according to officials.