Manly West Explosion


Taylah C (Year 12), Chief Contributor

At about 1pm on Monday the 21st of November, eleven 10-year-old children and one adult was rushed to hospital after a science experiment went wrong in Manly West Public School.  

The experiment, known as the “black worm”, was to use an accelerant, methylated spirits, to set baking soda and sugar alight. However, if you can remember, on this day strong winds were present, blowing all of the materials around, leading to severe burns of those who participated in the experiment.  

“We received multiple triple-0 calls reporting that a number of children had sustained burns during a science experiment, which was being conducted outside,” NSW Ambulance Acting Superintendent Phil Templeman said. 

A young girl, said to have the most serious burns, was airlifted to the Westmead Children’s Hospital in a stable condition after receiving treatment from CareFlight’s specialist doctor and a NSW critical care paramedic. Another was taken to the same hospital with a specialist team of Paramedics treating her burns.  

Thankfully, the adult and other children that sustained burns were only affected with superficial burns and taken to local hospitals.  

Multiple fire and rescue teams, police, 8 ambulances, 2 inspectors, 2 specialist teams, and a CareFlight helicopter responded to the scene. The huge response from the NSW paramedics is exactly what was needed as the children had sustained burns on their upper bodies, legs, faces and chests. 

“Thankfully the majority of children were not badly injured” 

 said Superintendent Templeman. 

Paramedics were informed on the Tuesday morning that the children are okay and well. As a college, we continue to pray for the speedy recovery of the children and the school as they go through this difficult time of investigation.