Father: Student hurt worst in chemistry experiment has burns

Updated 5/18/2022 7:50 PM

FARMERSBURG, Ind. -- The most severely injured among four western Indiana high school chemistry students hurt during an experiment that went awry will require skin graft surgery and therapy, his father said Wednesday.

David Hooper said his son, Ethan, was airlifted Tuesday to the Eskenazi Health burn center in Indianapolis after initially being taken to Terre Haute Regional Hospital.


Ethan received second and third degree burns to his left arm, primarily from the elbow to his fingertips, and to his face, his father told the Tribune-Star.

The mishap at North Central High School near the Sullivan County town of Farmersburg is being investigated by the state fire marshal's office.

Two investigators with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security visited the school on Wednesday to help investigate Tuesday's accident, said David Hosick, a spokesman for the state agency.

Hosick said the incident involving an unspecified chemistry experiment may have involved 'úsome sort of explosion."

The school's principal, Nancy Liston, said the three other injured students were treated and later released at a local hospital for minor cuts and burns and were back in school Wednesday.

Liston said the students were conducting an Advanced Placement course chemistry experiment outside the school that involved fire when 'úsomething went wrong."

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Liston said the experiment had been conducted many times in the past, including Monday, with no incidents.

Liston said the school, and the district's insurance, were investigating the cause of the accident.


This story was corrected to state the school's location as Farmersburg rather than Terre Haute.

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