Science Experiment Gone Horribly Wrong Leaves Children With Acid Burns (VIDEO)

At least 13 people -- including eight young children -- were injured Wednesday after a "tornado storm" science experiment went horribly wrong at the Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum in Reno, Nevada. It caused a disastrous chemical explosion just inches away from where students sat.

The live experiment required the mixture of methyl alcohol and boric acid in order to create a "tornado." But, as video footage shows, the second the excited instructor added alcohol to the chemical, it blew up in her hands and sent forth flames and an incredibly dangerous stream of toxic liquid.


The video shows the terrified children scrambling for safety as this nightmare unfolded before their eyes. The building was evacuated and eight children and one adult were rushed to a nearby hospital to be treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation. Four more people were reportedly treated at the museum.

One child had to stay in the hospital overnight, but he is expected to be released today -- thank goodness.

Mom Jackie Rider caught the entire incident on her cellphone and the video has quickly gone viral. Rider's 4- and 6-year-old daughters were treated for second-degree burns, her nephew had to be treated for first-degree burns, and her niece reportedly suffered from third-degree burns on her face.

A spokesperson for the city of Reno released a statement saying the accident was the result of a "chemical flash" and that investigators are working with museum staff to find out why this happened.

Science is one school subject that requires doing -- applying knowledge to experiments and seeing for yourself what can happen when you mix two substances together. But all good teachers and scientists know that safety comes first and that accidents can easily happen when working with dangerous chemicals.

This was a horrible, unfortunate incident and we feel for all of the injured children as well as those who were frightened for their lives. Most classroom and museum science experiments go off without a hitch and leave children with an even greater curiosity for the world around them. This serves as a reminder, though, that all precautions should be taken when performing these experiments around children.

Here's some footage from the video:

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Does this accident make you think differently about school science experiments?


Image via Horia Varlan/Flickr

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