(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.