Oops, did I do that?! Chemistry teacher sets student on fire after experiment goes terribly wrong (PICTURED)

by Zara Mustapha


chemistry teacher who was a bit careless while handling a jug of combustible chemicals created a fireball that reportedly “melted” a student’s ear at a New York City school.

According to a report released by the Education Department’s investigative arm, the probe into the chemistry demonstration gone horribly awry at Beacon High School on Jan. 2 determined that teacher Anna Poole poured methanol from a one-gallon bottle into four separate Petri dishes containing nitrates that had been aflame only moments prior.

This act caused the flammable liquid to instantly erupt, flying across the classroom at the elite Upper West Side school.

Daily News reports:

“A fireball — like a blow torch — erupted and shot across the room. Poole did not hear anything, but saw a white flame shoot across the room, and then Student A was on fire,” the Special Commissioner of Investigation report said.

That student, Alonzo Yanes, 16, suffered second- and third-degree burns to his face, neck and torso, according to the report.

School custodian Dimitri Stefanopoulos rushed to the classroom to find the student with a “melted” left ear and a hole in his shirt, according to the report.

He “looked like a victim from a battlefield,” Stefanopoulos told investigators.

A second 16-year-old student, Julia Saltonstall, received less serious burns on her forearms.

Only Poole wore protective goggles during the explosive experiment, according to the report.

Beacon biology and chemistry teacher Thomas Covotsos — who called 911 and attempted to put out the flames torching Yanes — told Stefanopoulos his colleague made critical mistakes in the experiment, according to the report.

A much smaller amount of methanol should have been poured from a beaker, he reportedly said. Much smaller quantities of liquids on the tips of wooden sticks or soaked in a sponge would have produced 

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