Students witnessed a lot more than they expected during Barry Miburo’s chemistry lab on Tuesday, Sept. 10. At approximately 2 p.m. during the lab experiment, an accident shocked many students.
Megan Troupe sustained the most severe injuries during the explosion in the lab, when her arm and body were “severely cut by glass,” according to witnesses.
An investigation is in process to determine what exactly happened during the incident. Miburo was unavailable to talk or answer questions due to the ongoing investigation with the Dean of the School of Science and Mathematics. However, students who witnessed the accident commented.
Kaitlin Croft explained that everyone was experimenting on crystallization when a beaker, which was being heated, shattered and sent glass flying across the room, hitting many students.
Croft said, “The burner was set on high and the ceramic on top of the burner melted, causing the glass to touch the hot plate. The plate, being way too hot, made the beaker filled with alcohol explode around the room causing several injuries.”
Nyati Patel said, “The hot plate busted and the beaker shattered. My partner had a shard of the hot plate melt onto her book bag.”
Croft and two other students, Tiffany Peters and Kirby Bostick, aided Megan with her severe injuries by making a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding while paramedics were still en route.
Several students were injured and were surprised as to how far the glass flew. Croft explained, “The glass even made it to the front of the room and cut through papers on the desks.”
Though officials have declined to comment pending the investigation, the ABAC public relations department sent out this statement following the explosion: “At approximately 2 p.m. on Tuesday a ceramic hot plate malfunctioned in an ABAC chemistry lab, causing a glass beaker on the hot plate to shatter. Some students sustained some minor lacerations as a result. Most of the students were treated and released at the ABAC Student Health Center and another student was treated at Tift Regional Medical Center.”
Everyone is now in stable condition and appear to be all right, according to those in the class, though many students are still shaken up about what they saw.