Sydney: Eleven students and one staff member of a primary school in Sydney were injured in a science experiment explosion, a government official said on Tuesday.
New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said that the incident took place at around 1 p.m. on Monday at the Manly West Public School, located on Sydney’s northern beaches, injuring 11 students from class 5 and one staff member during an outdoor science class, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Investigations into the incident will be undertaken by the relevant authorities, including the Department of Education and NSW Police. In addition, SafeWork NSW has been notified and they will carry out their own investigation in due course,” said the Minister.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mitchell had confirmed that there are still two students remaining in the hospital for treatment.
Local media reported that the students were taking part in a common science experiment known as the “black snake”, which involves a pile of baking soda and sugar being set alight.
“Two of those children were transported in serious condition, one transported by CareFlight aircraft and the others transported by road,” NSW Ambulance Acting Superintendent Phil Templeman told reporters.
He noted that the children had sustained burns to the upper body, chest, face and legs, but all of them, apart from the two in a serious condition, were “stable with relatively superficial injuries”.
“Obviously, the wind conditions have impacted this particular experiment and have blown some of the chemicals they were using around a little bit more than was expected,” said Templeman.
According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, a severe weather warning for damaging wind was in place for NSW on Monday.
As a late spring cold burst was moving over southeast Australia, widespread strong to damaging winds above 90 km/h continued to hit the state.