Clay (WSYR-TV) – Fire investigators are still trying to learn more about how a science experiment went wrong at Soule Road Middle School in Clay on Thursday.
The incident ended with three eighth-grade students and one teacher transported to Upstate University Hospital with burns varying in severity. One student is still in the hospital and will remain there for two or three days according to Liverpool Central School District Superintendent Richard Johns.
The explosion occurred when methanol fumes ignited during a science demonstration at the school.
According to Johns, the science demonstration was routine and had been performed before without incident.
Johns said the students ran from the classroom – including one who had caught fire. The scene left everyone involved shaken. While Friday’s classes proceeded as usual, the superintendent said it was a challenging day for students and staff.
"We had a little extra help for guidance. We had some students and staff that wanted to sit down and talk about it...about some of their issues,” Johns said.
The science teacher who suffered serious burns has not yet returned to work. While he has not been identified, the superintendent says he is very concerned about his students.
"He's frankly a bit perplexed about how this all occurred and we'll just have to wait and see what our experts tell us and obviously do whatever we need to do so nothing like this ever happens again,” Johns said.