Teacher injured in explosion at Derry Area High School

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A Derry Area Senior High School teacher was injured when a chemistry demonstration went awry today.

The teacher, identified as 35-year-old Brian Clawson, suffered first and second degree burns to his hands and face and was transported by helicopter to UPMC Mercy hospital, where he is in fair condition.

Westmoreland County Public Information Officer Dan Stevens said it was "a flash type fire" from a reaction of mixed chemicals.

Explosion injures Derry Area High School teacher

A teacher at Derry Area High School was injured in an explosion that also resulted in injuries to two students. (Video by Julia Rendleman; 10/24/2012)

Two of about 10 students in the chemistry class suffered minor injuries in the incident that occurred around 11:40 a.m.

A male student was burned on his leg and was released to his parents. A female student was taken to an area hospital after she injured herself in a fall when the classroom was evacuated. All middle school and high school students and staff were evacuated to the stadium and allowed to return about two hours later when the building was deemed safe.

Officials declined to release details about the experiment.

"The school district will be conducting a thorough investigation of what chemicals were being used and what events led up to the accident," said Cheryl Walters, assistant superintendent of the Derry Area School District.

breaking - neigh_east

Taryn Luna: 412-263-1985 or tluna@post-gazette.com. First Published October 24, 2012 4:30 AM


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