Chemical explosion injures teacher at Westwood HS

A teacher doing a demonstration of combustion in a high school science class suffered burns when the procedure went out of control.

It happened at Westwood High School in Mesa.

It is a dramatic demonstration that brings science to life. But even after following safety procedures, unleashing nature's power can be hazardous, and something that seemingly works every time can spiral out of control. 

At the Arizona Science Center, they recreated the demonstration, it's impressive to watch. It uses chemical fuel, oxygen, and a match.

But if there is anything slightly amiss, it can quickly turn dangerous.

"Yeah, that can happen, if it can escape another way it will try that with a crack, you have a lot of pressure built up, so it will shoot out more that way," said Kamlynn Thomas.

When Westwood HS teacher Lisa Tozzi tried it, the jug exploded, sending the teacher to the hospital with burns to her upper body. The accident left students reeling.

"They are all pretty sad about it, she is popular, one of the best, chemistry teachers are pretty cool," said student Rachel Odekirk.

"It is too bad that had to happen in a school, if you think about it, it's really bad to get burned in the face, it hurts," said student Jose Montufar.

The Mesa School District says safety is a top priority, and quote; "We are reviewing our laboratory safety protocols to understand how this occurred and institute any measures necessary to prevent future accidents."
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