A chemistry experiment gone horribly wrong in a New York high school has left a boy badly burned.
Alonzo Yates, a 10th grade student at the prestigious Beacon School in Manhattan's Upper West Side, is currently being treated for second and third degree burns on his torso, face and neck after the accident.
The incident occurred when Ms. Anna Poole, Alonzo's 10th grade chemistry teacher, poured highly reactive methanol onto an already-burning experiment. The explosive chemical immediately erupted upon coming into contact with the experiment, sending what students present at the scene described as "a fireball like a blowtorch" across the room.
Upon making this ghastly mistake, Poole ran outside her classroom screaming: "Help Me! Oh my God, I set a kid on fire!" according to witnesses.
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After writhing on the ground in a ball of flames, Alonzo was left badly injured.
"He suffered second- and third-degree burns to his face, neck and torso," the New York Post reports. "Moments after Yanes was set afire, another teacher ran in with a blanket and smothered the flames."
So not only was the experiment conducted in an improper manner, putting the lives of each student in the class in danger, but also the required safety equipment for such a disaster was not even present in the room. There was no fire blanket or working fire extinguisher on hand, which no doubt led to Alonzo's burns being much more severe.
“It’s very clear from the report that [the school] conducted an experiment that they had been warned by the government was dangerous,” said Jeffrey Bloom, Alonzo's lawyer. “As a result," he continued, "a gifted, talented young man has scars, physical and mental, that are going to be with him forever."
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It has been revealed that Poole was wearing protective goggles during the time of the explosion, but none of her students was given such protective gear.
A DOE spokesman said Poole will remain “reassigned while we carefully review the report and determine the appropriate action.”