Students burned in school science club

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
La Joya Community High School By Jennifer Thomas La Joya Community High School By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

AVONDALE, Ariz. – Three high school students were transported to the hospital after being burned in a science experiment that went awry, according to the Avondale Fire Department.

Karen Eubanks from the Tolleson Union School District said that the three female students were attending an after-school science club at La Joya Community High School Tuesday afternoon.

A spokesman with Avondale Fire said students were experimenting with chemicals when the accident occurred.

"The chemicals that were used in the science club after school were commonly found in the classroom; they were used in experiments throughout the day," said Dr. Lexi Cunningham, superintendent of the Tolleson Union High School District. "One was strontium chloride, the other was copper chloride, and the other was table salt. They were looking at the different colors of flames.

"All I can tell you right now is they followed the precautions that were in place in the classroom and that we will continue to evaluate our safety plans as we go along," Cunningham added.

She also said she would be reaching out to the families of the injured students.

A senior and one sophomore were taken to the burn unit at Maricopa Medical Center with facial burns, according to firefighters. At last report, they were said to be in stable condition.

A third student was taken to Banner Estrella Medical Center with minor burns on her arm. A teacher and an 18-year-old male were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Teachers at the school say their thoughts are with the students who were hurt.

"My sympathies and prayers go out to them, and sorry to hear this happened," said teacher Steve Raymond. "Hope and pray everything is OK with them and for the families."

Students at the school were shaken up.

"It was kind of scary, but I think it was just an accident," one student said.

"These kids are our friends," another said. "I hope they're OK."