Four students suffered burns after a science experiment performed by their teacher went horribly wrong.
Thursday morning, students in a ninth grade science class at Maple Grove Junior High School in Maple Grove, MN turned their desks toward the science table where their teacher, Matthew Achor, would perform an experiment for the class final.
According to the Star Tribune, Mr. Achor dropped a lit match into a jug of methanol, which made a small flash fire and loud boom, garnering applause from the class.
15-year-old student Dane Neuberger, who sat in the front row, had just looked down to write his observations of the experiment, when the next thing he knew he was on fire. He believes his teacher was performing the experiment a second time when an explosion occurred.
“It must have been a pretty big explosion because even papers around the room were on fire,” Neuberger told the Star Tribune. “Kids got their hair burned. Yeah, it was terrible. It was chaos. It was scary.”
Local news KARE11 reports that Mr. Achor acted quickly to extinguish the flames on his student with a fire blanket.
Emergency personnel transported Neuberger to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis where he is recovering from second degree burns to his face, neck and hand.
Three other students with minor burns were treated and released.
“I'm sure he feels bad, he's obviously a teacher; he likes kids. We're not looking for blood from him,” Dane’s father Gus Neuberger told the Star Tribune. “But perhaps I think some policy changes and safety issues need to be addressed.”
The Osseo School District has suspended methanol demonstrations, which are a regular part of the curriculum.
In addition to the school district, the state fire marshal is also investigating the fire, says Fox News.
Minnesota state law requires students to wear safety goggles during such experiments, but KARE11 reports that the students were not wearing any.