Cooking class explosion hurts 5 at Chicago school

Feb 19, 2014, 8:03 PM

CHICAGO (AP) – Five Chicago high school students were injured _ one seriously _ after an explosion and fire during a cooking class, officials said Wednesday.

Students at Northside College Prep High School were heating hot chocolate in a biology lab when gas ignited and caused “a flash” explosion about 10:30 a.m., said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

Four students were taken to hospitals, including one who had burns to the face, neck and arms, Langford said. Two were transported in stable condition and a fourth was in good condition. A fifth student declined treatment.

Chicago Public School officials said in a statement that an investigation was underway and said the “small fire” occurred on a single-burner stove during “a routine cooking instruction.”

Langford said the students were being supervised when the gas ignited and the heat from the flames caused sprinklers to turn on.

“The fire was doused immediately,” he said.

The school, which has about 1,000 students, was briefly evacuated before students were allowed to return to class.

Swedish Covenant Hospital spokesman Nick Przybyciel said two students there were in stable condition.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Cooking class explosion hurts 5 at Chicago school