Sydney school student injured in science experiment gone wrong


Several students have been injured after a classroom science experiment gone wrong at a primary school in Sydney, Australia.

Reports said that at least two students with severe burns were taken by ambulance to hospital. Nine other people reportedly suffered superficial burns.

Outlet 9News said preliminary reports suggested the experiment involved baking soda and rubbing alcohol.

Helicopters, paramedics and fire engines were seen at the scene.

The incident happened at Manly West Public School on Monday at around 1pm local time (0200 GMT).

NSW Ambulance Acting Superintendent Phil Templeman said the wind affected the experiment and some of the chemicals used were blown around.

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) said the children were reportedly between 10 and 11 years old and had burns all over their bodies, including their faces, chests, lower abdomen and legs.

A teacher was also treated for minor injuries.

Several parents who stayed near the school on Monday afternoon said they had questions about why the experiment was carried out, but said things were “under control” at the school.

Mike Ashton, a parent at the school, told the BBC: “We heard online what happened, it was a bit worrying but everything seemed to be under control very quickly.”

Another parent, who did not wish to be named, said it was a “routine science experiment” that the teacher involved was “very loving”.

A resident told SMH that a teacher left the school early to speak to a group of people gathered outside.

Tyson Atkins said, “The professor we talked to said it was a science experiment gone wrong and chemical burns were involved.”

A popular school science experiment that can be found online, called a carbon sugar snake, uses methylated spirits and baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate.

This involves mixing sugar with baking soda, pouring a small amount of the mixture into sand soaked in rubbing alcohol, and igniting the mixture.

However, it was not immediately clear what type of experiment the school conducted.

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