A schoolboy has suffered a horror eye injury after being
splashed in the face with acid during a science experiment.
Glendowie College student Ryan Edwards was in a chemistry
class when he dropped a bottle of concentrated hydrochloric
acid (HCL). He was not wearing safety glasses. The talented
violinist was immediately treated in class by a school nurse
before being taken to Starship Hospital by ambulance and
later transferred to the Green Lane Hospital eye ward.
College board of trustees chairman Shayne Blake said the
school was investigating the cause of the accident, which
happened two weeks ago. "We are very concerned and we wish
Ryan all the best for his recovery but we have to complete
our internal investigation before we can comment on why it
happened," Blake said.
"I can say young Ryan was injured by an acid splash in the
eye. He was immediately treated at the eyewash station in
class and was then admitted to hospital and, as far as I
know, he is still in hospital."
The school policy was for students to wear safety glasses
during experiments. They were available but Ryan was not
Blake said the teacher in class at the time acted quickly to
"The teacher is a very experienced teacher who is devastated
by what happened. There has never been an accident in the
Blake said the school had been getting regular updates from
Ryan's parents. "Ryan has been through a lot of pain. He is
improving but it is a slow process. Our sympathies are with
Ryan and his parents during this difficult time. It is also
difficult for the staff involved but we want to make sure the
school learns from the findings of the investigation."
Such injury accidents are supposed to be reported to the
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment within seven
days but the school did not inform the ministry until 10 days
after the event.
The ministry has since informed the school it will conduct an
independent investigation into the accident.
Blake said the school welcomed the investigation and would
use the results to make any required improvements to
classroom practices, post-accident response, and school
policies and procedures.
- by Kirsty Wynn of the Herald on Sunday