A science experiment at a magnet school in the Nashville suburbs turned into a dangerous chemical fire, injuring 17 high school students and their teacher.
The fumes were so great, administrators had to evacuate the rest of the school, according to fire officials.
The fire happened during a chemistry lab at Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville, Tennessee, just after 9 a.m. Wednesday. First responders triaged the students and their teacher at the school.
At least six patients suffered chemical burns. None of the injuries were life threatening. Eight students and the teacher were taking to the hospital with chemical burn or splash injuries, officials said Wednesday afternoon.
"They evacuated the school just like they should," Bush said. "We relocated the students. I know that’s terrifying to some of the parents at home. Your kids are safe and we’ve got the other ones transported to appropriate care facilities, for them to be taken care of."
The fire department used large fans to clear chemical fumes from the school and was testing air quality to make sure the building was safe for re-entry.
All classes were cancelled Wednesday, but the school expects to re-open Thursday.
Authorities say they believe the fire was an accident.
"We do not feel like this was a criminal act," Bush said.