Chemical burn at Meigs HS ruled accident

By Lindsay Kriz -

POMEROY — Meigs Local School District has released some information about a hydrochloric acid spill that occurred in a chemistry class last week.

The incident occurred Feb. 12 when procedures in a science classroom weren’t properly followed, Meigs Local Schools Superintendent Rusty Bookman said. He did not elaborate on who had not followed procedures, but said that ultimately it was ruled an accident.

According to Bookman, three students were transferred to the Holzer Emergency Room in Pomeroy, where a decision was made to transfer one student to Huntington for further evaluation.

According to the Open Chemistry Database, hydrochloric acid is a “strong corrosive juice that is commonly used as a laboratory reagent” which is formed by dissolving hydrogen chloride in water. It is corrosive to skin, eyes and mucous membranes. It may also, if inhalated over a short-term period, cause nose, eye and respiratory tract irritation. The solution of this substance is a colorless, watery liquid that has a sharp odor that can irritate the nostrils.

Hydrochloric acid, as with many other chemicals, should be handled with gloves and often goggles in a classroom setting.

Bookman said that high school Principal Steve Ohlinger has been in contact with the parents of those affected, and that Ohlinger had not heard more on the student transported to Huntington, as of Thursday afternoon.

“You’ve just got to tighten up your belt and improve procedures,” Bookman said. “I don’t know if you can ever 100 percent prevent something like that from happening, but you can stack the odds in your favor. Safety is priority.”

Bookman said the investigation by Ohlinger has basically been concluded after speaking with students and teachers, all of who were unnamed.

By Lindsay Kriz

Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.

Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.