Experiment gone sour

A science exhibition held at St Paul’s International School near Kalamassery on Wednesday, went horribly wrong when a plus-one student dropped a bottle of carbon disulphide, resulting in a chemical accident which saw 54 students being hospitalized.

Fortunately, a major accident was averted and only one student suffered burn injuries. The others suffered slight breathing problems, but were discharged after first aid.

The incident occurred at around 11 am, when Riyya Jamal dropped a bottle containing carbon disulphide during an experiment. The fumes immediately spread to the classroom and other rooms.

A few students felt dizzy and fainted. The school authorities rushed the students to the Cooperative Medical College hospital nearby, where they were administered first aid.

Sixteen pupils were admitted to the intensive care unit, while the others were admitted in the general ward. Most of them were discharged after primary check up.

“We were conducting an experimentation to light a lamp using carbon disulfide and sand instead of a match box. But a sudden spark frightened me and I accidentally dropped the acid bottle”, said Riyya, who was hurt.

The hospital authorities said the students who were admitted to the ICU were stable. “We admitted them to the ICU only to observe them for a few hours, and there was nothing to worry about”, the authorities said.

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