A so-called rainbow experiment conducted by a pre-school teacher in Yellow School - Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church just after noon in Houston caused a flash fire that exploded injuring students watching nearby.
The rainbow experiment involves burning chemicals to create rainbow-hued flames. The teacher blended boric acid with methanol and then lit the mixture expecting a colorful flame to show up. The experiment did not produce a flame that is why the teacher added alcohol to the concoction which then exploded creating a flash fire.
5 year-old Kate Earnest who was part of the group that participated in the experiment said, “the fire was changing colors and the last one was not working, so we put it a little bit more, and then it exploded," “That's how the other kids got burned, and they were crying" Kate added.
Village Fire Chief David Foster said that the incident was an accident.Fire official said of the 12 preschool students aged 3 and 4 who were injured, 11 of them suffered first and second-degree burns on their faces, hands, arms and legs, and one student was trampled. They were all rushed to the hospital shortly before noon. A parent was injured in a car crash while rushing to the school to check the children. One student was released from the hospital as of Tuesday night. The teacher was not harmed in the incident.
The rainbow experiment had resulted in burns at other schools in the past like in Virginia High School in 2015. Two students were seriously injured in an error performing the rainbow experiment.
The administration of Yellow School released a statement that the incident is already under investigation. The school’s primary concern is the health and safety of their students. The Yellow School is asking for prayers for the injured and their families.
The incident is a classic formula for a methanol-flame incident around children that has caused injuries, teachers getting fired, lawsuits being files and settlements being paid in this country time and time again that is why the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Chemical Safety is asking teachers to stop using the rainbow experiment.