Personal injury solicitors have recently announced that a school science experiment went terribly wrong, resulting in eleven students and one teacher sustaining serious personal injuries.
Seven pupils were rushed to hospital in the wake of an explosion, according to injury solicitors. One female student required a surgical procedure to repair injuries sustained to her upper lip.
As reported in the Liverpool Echo newspaper, a chemistry experiment involving setting fire to ethanol vapours that were trapped inside a bottle was the cause of the accident. All of the pupils of Warrington’s Great Sankey High School were in attendance in observation of the experiment, while those injured in the blast were all between eleven and twelve years of age.
Personal injury lawyers state that the pupils’ injuries occurred when the glass ethanol bottle exploded, sending glass shrapnel through the air. The teacher conducting the experiment was struck as well by the flying debris.
The Health and Safety Executive immediately launched an investigation into the incident and discovered that the type of glass bottle used in the experiment was unsafe. A polycarbonate plastic bottle such as the type used in water coolers should have been instead, HSE inspectors stated. The investigation also uncovered that school authorities neglected to issue safety goggles or any other kind of eye protection to the pupils prior to the experiment.
Warrington Council was called before Halton Magistrates’ Court, where a plea of guilty of neglecting to ensure the students’ safety was entered. The hearing saw the council fined £5,000 for their part in the incident. The council was also ordered to pay £4,717 in costs.
The chemistry teacher involved in the experiment had been considered the target of a separate prosecution, but after a review board concluded such a case would be adverse to the public interest, the prosecution against the injured teacher was dropped.