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Former Teacher Charged In Lab Explosion That Injured Students

DENVER (AP/CBS4) - Charges have been filed against a teacher who was fired after four students were burned, one seriously, when a fire erupted in a Denver high school chemistry laboratory.

According to Lynn Kimbrough with the district attorney's office, Daniel Powell, 22, "has been served with a summons charging him with four counts of third-degree assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor."

Powell was conducting a demonstration with methanol when the explosion occurred on Sept. 15.

Three of the students are back in school and the fourth student, who was not identified, continues to improve.

"He has a long road ahead of him. We are providing counseling to students and faculty," said Lindsay Neil, spokeswoman for the Science, Math and Arts Academy charter school on Oct. 7.

Powell suffered minor injuries to his hands and declined medical treatment, Neil said after the accident.

School Lab Fire
The scene on Sept. 15 (credit: CBS)

The school, known as the SMART Academy, is part of the Strive Preparatory School network that operates in the Denver system. Neil said it was Powell's first year teaching in the network.

LINK: Letter From SMART Academy To Families

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