About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Accuracy & Fairness Corrections & Clarifications Ethics Code Your Ad Choices
© MEAWW All rights reserved

15-year-old student left 'permanently disfigured' after suffering third-degree burns all over body in science experiment mishap

Malachi McFadden, 15, is in intensive care and in a 'really bad situation' after the experiment on the second day of classes saw him suffer third-degree burns all over his body
UPDATED AUG 13, 2019

STONE MOUNTAIN, GEORGIA: A teen has been hospitalized with third-degree burns all over his body after a chemistry experiment at school went horribly wrong.

Malachi McFadden, 15, a student at the Redan High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia, suffered burns to his face, head, arms, as well as his body after his teacher lit a dollar bill on fire during a science experiment on Tuesday, August 6, according to Channel 2.

However, the fire went out of control because there was ethanol in the bowl.

Ethanol is a highly volatile and flammable substance that is also used as a clean-burning fuel source.

Then, instead of putting water on the fire to put it out, the teacher allegedly grabbed a jar of ethanol and threw it into the fire, causing it to spiral further out of control.

McFadden, who was standing nearby, bore its full brunt.

After the incident, which happened on the second day of school, McFadden was accompanied to the Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta by a school nurse.

Chris Stewart, the attorney hired by McFadden's family, said that the 15-year-old was still in intensive care and that it was a "really bad situation."

"Third-degree burns to his face, his head, his arms, full body. Over 10% third-degree burn. It's horrific," he said, adding that the teen would never be the same again after the accident.

In graphic photographs of the teen taken by his family, he could be seen with bandages covering most of his face.

The family told Channel 2 that the 15-year-old was in pain but they hoped that he made a full recovery. They said they hired Stewart because they could not get any answers from the school. 

"One of your students right here is permanently disfigured because of the actions of the school," Stewart said.

The DeKalb County School District has not released the name of the teacher involved in the incident. They said in a statement that it was "an isolated incident" and that "all safety measures will be reviewed and reiterated moving forward."

Redan High School, on the other hand, has not made any public comments but is believed to have contacted McFadden's family. It has also provided school counselors for support to students in the class who witnessed the gruesome accident.

It remains to be seen if the family will a lawsuit against the school, especially in light of the verdict of a similar case that saw the victim awarded nearly $60 million in damages.

In 2014, Alonzo Yanes sustained third-degree burns on 30 percent of his body while taking part in a "Rainbow Experiment" in a lab at the Beacon School in Manhattan.

Yanes sued the Department of Education and the chemistry teacher and was eventually awarded nearly $60 million in damages by a Manhattan jury last month.