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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Accident in the laboratory

Accident in the laboratory

After classes on Monday, we were passing near the chemistry laboratory when we saw a strange figure running out of the chemistry lab. The stranger was tall with stooping shoulders. His hair was below his dirty shirt collar. The left leg of his dark blue jeans was rolled up to his knees.

At first we thought that he was Mr. Tan, the laboratory assistant, but he was too shabbily dressed to be Mr. Tan. While we were deciding who he was, we suddenly heard an explosion in the lab. Without second thoughts, we rushed into the lab to investigate. We were greeted by thick black smoke when we opened the door of the lab. We covered our mouths and noses with our handkerchiefs and with much difficulty, found the source of the fire.

The three liter can of kerosene was undoubtedly the fire initiator. We took the little pails at the corner of the lab to put out the fire. While we were struggling with this little fire-fighting, we were rudely interrupted by a series of loud explosions behind us. We turned around and to our horror we saw flames near the front door and also the small fire exit by the left side of the lab.

We were trapped and the only way of escaping was through the narrow windows which were barred with thick wire. We realized the hopelessness of the situation as we were completely engulfed in thick fumes and smoke. The acid compartment of the cabinet exploded and also caught fire. The smell was unbearable.

In between desperate gasps of breath, we shouted for help. In a few minutes we heard the windows being broken. Then excited voices were heard outside. We could not see even our own hands which were held in front of your eyes, let alone the crowd which must have already gathered outside.

Our hearts beat vigorously as we waited patiently to be rescued. We controlled our breaths and tried not to inhale much of the possibly poisonous fumes. Then, before we realized it, we were pulled out of the lab, through the windows by fire-fighters.

Now I am feeling better, I can recall that my friends and I have seen the man, possibly the culprit, loitering in the canteen outside during the break. We really hope that the man can be traced and proper action be taken against him.

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