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Beacon HS Teacher Removed from School After Chemistry Explosion, DOE Says

By Emily Frost | February 11, 2014 10:09am
 The school was cited for not storing chemicals properly and not having plans for its labs. 
Beacon School Chemistry Explosion
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LINCOLN SQUARE — The Beacon High School chemistry teacher suspected of causing an explosion that burned two students has been removed from the school, the Department of Education said.

On Jan. 2, chemistry teacher Anna Poole was conducting an experiment in a classroom at the West 61st Street school when chemicals she was pouring burst into flames, according to students.

The explosion burned a 15-year-old boy and girl, both tenth-grade students, who were sitting at the front of the room.

The male student is still in the hospital recovering from third-degree burns, the New York Daily News reported

"Anna Poole has been reassigned pending an investigation," said DOE spokesman David Pena, who added that the teacher has been assigned to administrative duties since early January. 

Poole was in her first year of teaching at the public high school after working at The Bronx High School of Science. In the experiment that went awry, she was trying to demonstrate how different materials produce different colored flames, students and officials said. 

The school was hit with eight violations by the FDNY a week after the explosion, including not properly storing chemicals and not having a ventilation hood in the lab. 

Neither Poole nor school principal Ruth Lacey immediately responded to a request for comment.