4 students injured in classroom explosion

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ATLANTA - Several students were injured at an Atlanta charter school after an experiment to make a volcano erupt turned into a small explosion.

An Atlanta Prep Academy student decided to do his own unsupervised experiment and the explosion injured four students.

Sixth-grader India Muqaddeem presented her volcano experiment to her class on Monday with a bandage on her forehead covering the stitches she received after the explosion.

“It was a very dangerous situation and a very scary situation.” Principal Dr. Lynette Walker said.

Walker said students had been working on their volcano experiments and a substitute teacher was checking on each student’s project. While he wasn’t looking, a student gave the dry ice for his volcano to a classmate, Walker said.

“One of the students took the dry ice and put it in a water bottle and it had vinegar, and water, and, ‘Boom,’” Walker said.

Part of the bottle hit India’s forehead. A second student suffered a burn to his hand. The chemicals got into another student’s face and the loud explosion irritated a 4th student’s sensitive ears.

The experiment was supposed to teach students a science lesson, but Walker said the students have learned a bigger lesson about following instructions and safety.

“Stay away from others when they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” India said of what she learned from the incident.

Walker said the students involved have been disciplined for inappropriate use of materials. She is reviewing safety policies in light of the incident.

One measure Walker said she is considering putting in place to prevent this from happening again is putting more adults in classrooms while students are participating in science experiments.