• May 17, 2017

12 Children Injured in Houston, TX, Science Experiment Accident

Houston, TX -- May 16, 2017, at least twelve children were injured due to an accident where a science experiment went awry and caused a fire.

According to officials from the Village Fire Department, the incident took place Tuesday morning at the Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church located off the intersection of Memorial Drive and Applewood Street.

Investigators reported that a group of 3 to 4-year-old pre-school students was outside as a science demonstration was occurring. The experiment reportedly involved the use of boric acid and methanol to produce different colored flames.

For reasons not entirely clear, the experiment went wrong and a sudden flash fire occurred. As a result, at least 12 children sustained various injuries. These injuries were said to involve burns of various degrees, possible inhalation of fumes, and at least one child who sustained trampling-related injuries.

Emergency crews treated five children at the scene while seven were taken to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital. At least one of those children remained in the hospital as of Tuesday evening.

At this time, authorities have not released any additional information in regards to the accident. Investigations are ongoing.

Map of the Area

Commentary

Is there any combination out there better than 3 or 4-year-old school children and science experiments involving fire? Well, I can think of a few hundred thousand. If doing an experiment involving fire in front of a bunch of pre-schoolers sounds dangerous to you, then you're part of the majority of reasonable people out there who would never even consider doing something as ridiculous and reckless as this.

I'm not trying to make light of this situation at all; I'm simply trying to highlight just how absurd this all is and how mind-boggling it is that this situation was allowed to happen. There's a reason even our elementary schools don't usually have science labs, especially with access to fire. Most reasonable adults understand that kids should be much older with a sense of accountability and safety consciousness before being anywhere near dangerous substances. Allowing something like this to occur surrounded by pre-schoolers? It just doesn't make any sense.

Some people might suggest that I'm overreacting and that it's part of a culture that coddles children. That's nonsense. The law is pretty clear that folks who engage in dangerous, age-inappropriate activities around anyone, let alone little children, bear the consequences for their behavior when things go wrong and people get hurt. I'm not suggesting we outlaw recess on the off chance a child might sprain an ankle; instead I believe that adults should heed a warning that countless generations have given to children about not playing with fire.

It needs to be determined exactly who allowed such an event to occur, and the person or people responsible need to be held fully accountable. When children get hurt because of someone's negligence, nothing less than swift punishment is warranted.

--Grossman Law Offices

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