Six hurt when experiment goes awry at Arlington High




Posted on September 12, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 12 at 6:05 PM

Arlington High School

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ARLINGTON — A teacher and five students at Arlington High School were transported to a local hospital after they were overcome while working on a science experiment Wednesday.

Around 12:22 p.m., Arlington police received a 911 call from the school saying several people in a science lab were complaining of nausea, dizziness and headaches. The six people were transported to area hospitals for triage and treatment.

"The teacher was teaching the kids on how to detect proteins in amino acids, and in that four-step process an unanticipated reaction occurred," said Arlington Fire Department spokesman Jim Self. "Because of that, the teacher had to be transported to an area hospital."

The unnamed teacher was "being triaged and evaluated" at Arlington Memorial Hospital, Self said. She was complaining about inhalation issues and chemical contact.

Four students who were near the site of the experiment were taken to Medical Center of Arlington for treatment, and a fifth was referred by a parent. All were reported to be in stable condition.

"All students in the classroom were evaluated before we released them," Self said.

A bulletin on the school's website said the trip to the hospital was taken "as a precaution."

Hazmat responded, but only the classroom where the incident occurred was evacuated. Students not involved in the incident were dismissed at the regular hour on Wednesday afternoon.

Hazmat and the Arlington Fire Department still had the classroom isolated as of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday as they tried to find out the nature of the experiment and safely clean the room.

"There is no hazardous material spill here," Self said. "When the unanticipated reaction occurred, [the teacher] followed the safety protocols and isolated the area and activated the Vent-a-Hood."

Officials have not disclosed the products or chemicals involved in the experiment.