August 8, 2012

An accident paid for

Couple of weeks ago the Court of Claims of Ohio approved a $600,000 settlement for a Cincinnati couple whose daughter was burned when a couple of UC employees (professors? grad students? secretaries? - the article doesn't say) were doing a demonstration that went wrong. Apparently the ethanol caught fire and exploded, resulting in the girl getting second and third degree burns on her arms, legs, and face.

I try to pay attention to lab accidents so I know what not to do in my classroom. I need to know more about this one because I burn ethanol in my classroom all the time. I'm curious as to what went wrong here because I've never had a problem with ethanol. Methanol is bad stuff, but ethanol hasn't been a problem that I've known.

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