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Family Sues City Over High School Chemistry Experiment That Left Teen Burned

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The parents of a teenager who was badly injured in a chemistry experiment at an Upper West High School have filed a $27 million lawsuit against the city.

The parents of Alonzo Yanes filed the lawsuit Thursday in Manhattan state Supreme Court, the New York Daily News reported.

Yanes and classmate Julia Saltonstall were left with burn injuries in January during a chemistry class at the Beacon School on West 61st Street.

A tenth-grade chemistry teacher was conducting experiment that uses methanol to burn dishes of materials. The demonstration went awry and the chemicals exploded.

The two students were engulfed in the fireball and were taken to NewYork Presbyterian- Weill Cornell Medical Center, and one of them had suffered serious injuries.

Yanes had second- and third-degree burns and has been left with a badly disfigured ear.

Saltonstall was treated for first-degree burns on her forearms.

Following the accident, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board urged schools to take proper precautions with laboratory chemicals. The agency said the flash fire incident was all too similar to one that was highlighted in a recent safety message it had released.

The experiment that went awry was later banned.

A spokesman for the city Law Department said the city will review the lawsuit.

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