Lab incident at Arlington High sends teacher and students to hospital

Posted Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2012  Print Reprints

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ARLINGTON — A teacher and five students at Arlington High School were taken to the hospital early Wednesday afternoon after they were overcome by fumes during an biochemistry lab exercise.

The district declined to identify the six people, citing privacy rules. Students indicated in Twitter posts that the teacher was Brandi Bastas.

Assistant Fire Chief Jim Self said that one of the five students was referred to the hospital by a parent. The others, along with the teacher, were taken by ambulance and were in stable condition, he said.

The incident happened just before lunchtime while the students in the International Baccalaureate class were performing lab work on identifying proteins and amino acids. One of the last chemical compounds they used contained a small amount of cyanide, but Self said that fire investigator quickly ruled out the poisonous substance as a “primary player” in the incident..

“During the four-step lab process, they had an unanticipated reaction,” he said.

Junior Karen Ortiz, who was in the class, said 20 to 30 students were in the room. After the teacher became sickened and left the room, she said, an assistant principal came and told the students to leave. Students were advised to see the school nurse if they felt ill, Ortiz said.

The district declined to discuss the specific details of the incident. Self said that he was satisfied with the safety protocols followed and the response of the fire department’s hazardous materials team.

The lab is expected to be open Thursday.

Patrick M. Walker, 817-983-8080 Twitter: @patrickmwalker1

Patrick M. Walker, 817-983-8080

Arlington High School, Arlington, TX
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