Two 10th grade students at a Manhattan high school are being treated for burns, after their chemistry teacher's demonstration turned into a dangerous fireball. One student has second-degree burns—Alonzo Yanes reportedly screamed, "Help me! Help me!"
The accident occurred at the Beacon School. Teacher Anna Poole was trying to show students different colors in elements.
According to WCBS 2, "Fire officials said the teacher added alcohol to the chemicals and ignited them… 'I think she might have put too much and I just saw a huge fire,' 10th grader Jeremy Reynoso told Slattery. 'Luckily, the kids at the front table were able to actually duck and get out of the way.'"
Yanes was not so lucky. Reynoso told the Daily News, "He could not move… He was on the floor. It was like a Hazmat fire. His skin was melting and scabbed… He was burned from his torso up to his hair. 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.'"
A second student reportedly had burns on her hands. She and Yanes were taken to Weill Cornell Medical Center.
This is what the experiment should look like:
Former Stuyvesant High School chemistry teacher Jake Dobkin told us, "The year I taught my worst nightmare was that I’d accidentally incinerate a student or myself—I actually kept a fire extinguisher on hand at all times out of paranoia, and then one day some kid lit a trash can on fire in the bathroom and I got to use it to put out the fire."
A student took a fire extinguisher and gave it to Poole, who used it to put out the fire. Poole was called extremely safety conscious by students. They also said she was "traumatized" after the incident.