BALASORE: At least 18 students, including 13 girls, of a private school in Balasore district were rushed to a hospital after they reportedly inhaled chemicals during a practical exercise at their school laboratory.
Sources said the students of Saraswati Shishu Mandir at Balia complained of breathing problems and frequent sneezing while they were attending a practical class in their school laboratory.
School secretary Upendra Patra said the incident occurred when the students of Class VIII were being shown the chemical reaction of sodium with water, inside the laboratory under the direct supervision of their science teacher.
“Huge smoke generated as it appears excess amount of sodium was poured into the water. It, however, spread through as students switched on the fan in a bid to get the smokes out. Sensing trouble, we took them to the hospital in our school bus,” he said.
District collector Pramod Kumar Das visited the hospital and directed the chief district medical officer (CDMO) Dr Bibekananda Das to provide free treatment to all affected students.
Initially, the condition of seven affected students were critical. They were administered saline and were under
observation. Health condition of others improved after preliminary treatment.
Additional district medical officer (ADMO) Dr SS Choudhury said, there was no reason to panic as the students are out of danger.
"We are observing their health conditions. They will be discharged soon,” he added.