A small explosion in a David Douglas High School science classroom led to 11 students and one adult being hospitalized and a portion of the school being evacuated Friday morning.
Portland firefighters said sodium metal came into contact with water in a classroom sink, causing the explosion. Jonathan Yancey, a student who was in the classroom, said his teacher was preparing an experiment at the time.
"Boom! It exploded. It was pretty bad. Our teacher had to put eye wash on his eyes because it exploded on his face," Yancey said.
The room filled with a cloud of toxic fumes, Yancey said, and students started coughing and suffering from irritation to their eyes.
Firefighters responded to the Hazmat incident, which happened in the school's science wing.
The classroom and the clothing worn by the 11 students tested positive for high concentrations of ph, and as a result, firefighters used the school's showers to decontaminate the affected students and outfit them with Tyvek suits before they were taken to hospitals.
There were 25 students in the classroom at the time of the explosion.
A spokesman for David Douglas High School said 12 classrooms in the science wing were evacuated. Other parts of the school remained open and functional.
"My mom texted me and asked me if I was OK, and I'm like, 'Yeah, why?'" said student Kierrea Taylor. "And she said there was a boom in your school. I was like, 'I didn't even know.'"
The doors to the science wing were left open to air out the building for several hours Friday.
The teacher and affected students were taken to several hospitals in the area. Paramedics said they had some eye and respiratory issues, but there's no word on their conditions at this time.
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