12 preschoolers injured when science experiment explodes

Posted at 12:52 AM, May 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 00:52:02-04

HOUSTON (KTRK/KPRC/CNN) – Several 3-year-old students suffered burns after a science experiment involving color-changing fire exploded at a Texas school.

According to the Memorial City Fire Department, students at The Yellow School in Houston were conducting a science experiment outside around noon Tuesday when a flash blast occurred.

Witness Kate Earnest, 5, who was part of the group that participated in the experiment remembers a lot of screaming and crying.

"Fire was changing colors and the last one wasn't 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 said.

When the experiment blew up, chemicals landed on several children, injuring 11 of them. Another child was trampled, and a teacher got scrapes and bruises trying to protect a student.

All of the injured students are 3 years old, a fire official says.

Of those injured, 6 kids were transported to the hospital. Most of them had been released as of Tuesday night.

A fire official says wind may have played a role in the incident.

"We just know there was an experiment that went wrong, and there was a brief moment of flame. It was put out fairly quickly, as I understand, so fortunately, there weren't a great number of children that were injured,” said Bob Giles with Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, who runs the school.

Parents who came to pick up unhurt children generally say they trust the school and see this as an accident.

"I think they reacted appropriately, and they called way more ambulances and fire trucks than necessary, just to make sure everybody was OK,” parent Natalie Blazei said.

Officials with the fire and police departments are investigating the incident.

Copyright 2017 KTRK, KPRC via CNN. All rights reserved.