Two high school students have been badly hurt after a classroom science experiment went wrong.
One of the Year 10 students at Manhattan's Beacon School received serious burns after his chemistry teacher, Anna Poole, had hoped to demonstrate a rainbow of flames using four kinds of nitrates.
But a volatile build-up of methyl alcohol fumes led to the chemistry lab being engulfed in a fireball.
"It was just an accident on the teacher's part. I'm assuming the experiment went wrong," student Jeremy Reynoso, 15, told The New York Post.
"It was like a welcome back to school experiment, because today was our first day back," he continued.
Poole, who also taught at Bronx High School of Science, reportedly lit up four different coloured liquids each in individual beakers.
When the liquids stopped burning, Poole is believed to have set them alight once more.
The New York Post reports Alonzo Yanes, 16, received second and third degree burns in the accident.
"Help me! Help me!," Yanes reportedly said before dropping to the floor and attempting to extinguish the flames by rolling around.
The teacher and another student eventually put out the flames with a fire extinguisher and blanket.
"All of a sudden I saw a huge ball of fire just shoot out and hit my friend, Yanes," Reyonso said.
“His skin — a lot of it was melted and scabbed."
“He was on fire for a good minute,” Reynoso continued.
“I saw his ear was melting. The skin was peeling. His face was red. Afterward, he wasn’t talking or moving.”
Julia Saltonstall, 16, was also injured, receiving less severe burns to her neck, head and arm.
None of the students were wearing goggles, the New York Post reports.
Yanes remained in Cornell Medical Centre's burns unit overnight.