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School Closed After Chemistry Lab Blast

March 16, 1988

COVINGTON, Ga. (AP) _ An explosion in a chemistry lab injured a teacher and a student today and forced officials to close Newton County High School.

Both the 34-year-old teacher and the 16-year-old student were reported in stable condition, but a Georgia Baptist Medical Center spokeswoman said the teacher was expected to undergo plastic surgery.

The teacher was taken by helicopter to the Atlanta hospital with burns, bruises, hand injuries and minor facial injuries, said spokeswoman Colleen Nowak.

The student suffered cuts on her arms and was expected to be kept overnight at Newton County General Hospital, said a spokeswoman there, Kathy Klauss.

The explosion occurred during a chemistry experiment about 8:45 a.m., said Herb Burnsed, assistant superintendent of the Newton County school system.

Fumes spread into hallways and prompted officials to dismiss classes for the day, he said.

The victims were not identified pending notification of relatives.

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