Pubic and private schools are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of students who are using dangerous chemicals. After two students were injured in chemical explosion at an Upper West Side high school, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board is urging additional precautions to prevent the injury of students in contact with laboratory chemicals.
Parents who send their children off to school trust that the administration and faculty are taking necessary precautions to keep kids safe. In the event of such an accident, parents may be asking, “How can this happen?” Our New York personal injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims. We understand the frustration of parents whose children have suffered serious injuries as a result of negligence. In addition to advocating for the rights of victims, we are committed to raising awareness to prevent future chemical explosions in the classroom.
According to local media reports, the explosion occurred after 9 a.m. when a chemistry teacher for a 10th grade class was conducting an experiment with dangerous chemicals. Student-witnesses said that they teacher may have gone overboard, using too much of one chemical that started the fire. Many of the high school students who were close to the front table reacted quickly and were able to get out of the way. Unfortunately, there were two students who were seriously injured and taken to the Weill Cornell Medical Center. One student was left in serious condition and another student was released from the hospital, but suffered injuries.
One of the victims suffered second-degree burns on her face, neck and arm. Another victim has suffered first-degree burns as a result of the explosion. According to the Chemical Safety Board, the explosion was similar to another accident, featured in their safety message titled, “After the Rainbow.” The safety message video features the survivor of a chemical explosion at an Ohio boarding school in 2008. The victim suffered burns over 40 percent of her body when her teacher performed a chemistry experiment that went awry. The video was released only weeks before the explosion at the New York high school.
The video was named after the “Rainbow Experiment” an attempt to show how different chemicals burn at varying light frequencies. For the victim, the experiment and subsequent explosion were terrifying as she saw that her skin and clothes had burst into flames. The Chemical Safety board is calling on all schools to follow safety measures to protect students against these life-threatening injuries.
For victims, parents, and safety advocates, calling attention to such accidents is critical to raise awareness among students and teachers alike. Following safety procedures and practices can prevent similar accidents and save teens from these life-altering injuries. According to the New York Times and other sources, similar experiments have injured chemistry teachers and their students in other schools around the country. In the event of a school accident or injury, a thorough investigation can preserve necessary evidence and help victims to recover full compensation.
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