ELK GROVE (CBS13) – The Elk Grove middle school science teacher behind a classroom experiment gone wrong has been placed on leave.

The Elk Grove Unified School District and Cosumnes Fire Department are investigating the explosion that injured two middle schoolers at Kerr Elementary on Monday.

Investigators are calling the explosion unusual but won’t go into detail while their investigation is under way.

“We’re trying to determine if there was any bad practices involved, any criminal conduct,” Cosumnes Fire Deputy Chief John Michelini said said. “The nature of the experiment is not one I would consider typically done in a middle school.”

Meanwhile, they say they’re not even sure what chemicals the teacher was using in the experiment. It was originally reported as bottle containing rubbing alcohol and chlorine tablets.

“I’ve heard a couple of combinations but while the investigation is ongoing I wouldn’t want to speculate,” Michelini said.

Fire investigators believe chlorine was one of the chemicals. The school district is also conducting its own interview with those involved.

Many parents picking up their kids from school Tuesday still had no idea a chemistry explosion gone wrong injured two students Monday.

“We hear like a boom, explode something. Then after they took two kids inside,” Alfonso Fernandez said.

Fernandez knows because he was there when the explosion happened.

“Was thinking it was a fireworks or something,” he said.

The two male students suffered first-degree burns to the face and eye irritation.

“He was just like holding his head and walking in like this,” a student named Kirsten said of one of the boys. “It got in his eyes.”

Students say the two boys who were injured were not at school Tuesday.

Parents and students were left rattled by what was supposed to be a learning experience.

“I’d be afraid,” Kirsten said. “I wouldn’t want to go into that class because I wouldn’t want that teacher.”


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