Iowa Seventh-Graders Injured in Explosion at Their School
The above is a stock photo and is not the school involved in this story.
What likely started as fun, turned very frightening for students at a Junior and Senior High School in extreme southwest Iowa.
It happened Wednesday at East Mills Junior and Senior High School, which is located in Malvern, Iowa, a little over 30 minutes from Omaha, Nebraska.
According to WOWT, a group of students were conducting a science experiment when an accident happened.
Riley Streight, one of the injured students, suffered two small chemical burns to his arms. He said he had his back turned and "it just exploded right behind me." Riley recalled seeing pieces of glass go flying and also fire after the explosion.
Kayla, Riley's older sister, was at lunch when she saw her brother come running down the stairs holding one of his arms. She followed him to the school nurse's office and called their mom, Donna.
Donna Streight told WOWT that when her daughter called she could hear Riley in the background: “I could hear him screaming ‘Mom it burns! it burns!’ and I’m like what is going on... You hear a kid screaming in the background... I mean, I immediately thought school shooting, you know, like what’s going on? She never calls me in the middle of the day."
After being advised by the school that the ambulance Donna requested wasn't necessary, she says they told her they could put ointment on Riley's burns and he could go back to class. Kayla and Donna said no. Kayla, a junior volunteer firefighter, knew that chemical burns should be flushed. She shared with WOWT, "I knew in that instant if you put ointment on it, it traps the chemicals on the skin, you want to rinse it off.”
Kayla then drove her brother to an emergency clinic where the family says Riley took a 10-minute decontamination shower and also had his eyes flushed.
East Mills Junior/Senior High School Principal Dale Scott said in a note to parents: "Today in a junior high science class a group of students were working on science fair projects involving the burning of sugar. Two students were injured when a container of ethanol alcohol was accidentally bumped. The container spilled and caused a fireball which injured the students. The teacher extinguished the flames with a fire blanket."
Principal Scott told WOWT the school nurse told him, "The second student was taken two blocks to the local medical clinic by school officials and the doctor there made the decision to transport [the] other injured student by ambulance after their assessment."
WOWT reports people close to the family of the other injured student, a female, say she was treated at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. She was later flown to Lincoln, Nebraska for treatment in a burn unit.