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Two Students Suffer Burn Injuries from Classroom Chemical Explosion

Posted on October 20, 2011 to

Two students at the University of Maryland suffered burn injuries after an explosion in one of the school’s chemistry labs. In a report at washingtonpost.com, the students were conducting an experiment using nitric acid and sulfuric acid. A chemical reaction ignited a fire, which appears to puzzle investigators.

A spokesperson for the Prince George’s County Fire Department said combining nitric acid and sulfuric acid does not normally cause such an explosion. The two students suffered first- and second-degree burns in the explosion and fire, according to officials. Emergency responders took them to a local hospital. The Washington Post report said the victims are in good condition. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire inside the classroom.

In addition, two employees inside the lab went through a decontamination process after the fire and explosion. Hazardous materials employees went inside the classroom to try to determine what caused the chemical explosion. Officials closed the entire building to perform their investigation.

Did you ever have an experience with dangerous chemical reactions in high school or college chemistry courses? Were there any burn injuries?

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