E.E. Smith High School students injured in explosion
Posted October 25, 2011
Fayetteville, N.C. — E.E. Smith High School in Fayetteville was evacuated Tuesday afternoon after an experiment in the chemistry lab exploded, police said.
Several students were injured while doing an experiment involving potassium nitrate and sugar in an Advanced Placement chemistry class, Cumberland County Schools spokesperson Renarta Moyd said. The students were heating the chemicals on a hot plate and bringing it outside when it prematurely ignited.
Two students were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and one was taken to Womack Army Medical Center.
A fourth student told WRAL News that she was treated at the scene for a burn on her wrist. Her classmates had more serious injuries, including burns to the face, arm and leg.
Rayshawn Dorsey, who took the AP chemistry class last year, said the experiment was supposed to produce smoke and not a flame. He believes the group used too much potassium nitrate.
There was minimal damage inside the school.
The school was evacuated as a precaution. Buses transported most students home and parents picking up their children were asked to wait inside their cars.
A hazmat crew decontaminated the area.