IPOH: A leaking underground gas pipeline at a school science laboratory exploded when 44 Form One students were carrying out an experiment.
Although no one was injured 19 students of SM Gunung Rapat were sent to the Ipoh Hospital for treatment for shock.
According to their Science teacher Khairol Azmi Ahmad Arifin, the incident occurred when the students in groups of five were carrying out an experiment on properties of metals and non-metals about 11.35am.
He said when the group at the front row lighted the Bunsen burner, there was a loud explosion.
“I immediately rushed out of the classroom and went to the side of the laboratory to close the gas valve,” he said at the school yesterday after state Education director Datuk Adnan Ibrahim, state Education, Human Resource and Multimedia Committee chairman Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and Perak CPO Deputy Commissioner Datuk Assaari Mokhtar visited the school.
Khairol Azmi said the explosion damaged the table at the washbasin and left a large hole on the floor.
He said two pieces of wood, about 0.5m long, from the table flew to the back of the classroom.
Adnan said investigations by the Fire and Rescue Department found a leak in one of the underground gas pipeline buried below the washbasin.
He said the pipe, installed 22 years ago, had exploded due to intense pressure.
He said the Fire and Rescue Department had advised the school not to use the laboratory.
Adnan said a circular would be sent to all headmasters of schools in the state today to carry out checks on gas pipes in their schools and to send a detailed report to the department.
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