COVINGTON, La. (AP) — Two boys were seriously burned and a teacher and a third boy suffered minor burns when a science camp experiment to make “black snake” fireworks got out of control, setting fire to at least one boy’s clothes, said Covington Fire Chief Richard Badon.
The teacher was burned getting the boys out of danger and putting out the fire Monday morning in the chemistry lab at St. Scholastica Academy, Badon said.
He said the experiment used powdered sugar, sand, baking soda and burning alcohol to turn white sugar into twisty tubes of black carbon.
“It was a freak accident. I know they were following directions,” Badon said.
The seriously burned boys were sent to burn units in Shreveport and Baton Rouge, the teacher drove to a hospital after treatment by paramedics, and the third boy was released to his parents after paramedic treatment, Badon said.
He said the three boys were about 8 to 10 years old.
The camp is for boys and girls aged 8 to 14, according to the school’s website.
Children stood at laboratory counters for the experiment, Badon said.
Parents of all boys and girls at the camp were reached soon after the accident, and a counselor was available to speak to the children and their parents, said Sarah Comiskey McDonald, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
The second one-week session of the camp began Monday, according to the school’s website. It states that the camp features science activities patterned after the TV show “Mythbusters.”
“Join us as we mix chemicals, launch rockets, learn science tricks, and have a myth busting good time!” it says.
“The session will continue throughout the week as scheduled,” McDonald said.
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