BALASORE: At least 18 students, including 13 girls, of a private school in Balasore district were taken ill and hospitalised after they inhaled chemicals during a practical class at the laboratory on Thursday.
The students of Saraswati Sishu Vidyamandir at Balia complained of breathing problem and sneezing while they were attending a practical class.
School secretary Upendra Patra said the incident occurred when students of Class VIII were being shown the chemical reaction of sodium with water, inside the laboratory under the supervision of a science teacher. An excess amount of sodium was poured into water as a result of which, smoke filled the laboratory. It spread fast as some students switched on fans to get rid of the smoke.
The students were immediately rushed to hospital. Collector Pramod Kumar Das visited the hospital and directed the CDMO Dr Bibekananda Das to provide free treatment to all affected students.
Initially, the condition of seven affected students was critical. They were administered saline and kept under observation. Health condition of others improved after preliminary treatment.