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Explosion in North Carolina high school chemistry lab

By Joe Sutton, CNN
updated 5:03 PM EDT, Tue October 25, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Students performing experiment when it ignited prematurely, official says
  • Three students at Fayetteville, North Carolina, high scool taken to area hospital
  • E.E. Smith High School evacuated as precaution

(CNN) -- A chemistry experiment sparked an explosion that injured three high school students Tuesday in central North Carolina.

Students were performing the experiment when it ignited prematurely about 3:10 p.m., according to Theresa Perry, assistant superintendent of communications at E.E. Smith High School in Fayetteville.

The three were taken to an area hospital, but their conditions weren't immediately known, Perry said.

The school was evacuated as a precaution and hazardous materials crews remained on the scene late Tuesday afternoon, according to a news release from the Fayetteville Fire Department.

The explosion involved potassium chloride and possibly other chemicals, the statement said.

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