iPod Battery Explodes, N.H. Students Hospitalized

FARMINGTON, N.H. --


FARMINGTON, N.H. --

Finals were interrupted at Farmington High School on Tuesday morning when an iPod battery exploded in a science classroom.

Officials said the school was placed in a brief lockdown in an effort to keep students from breathing in the smoke released in the incident, and the classroom was evacuated.

School officials said a 16-year-old boy said he was repeatedly bending the iPod until its plastic casing broke and then continued flexing it. The lithium ion battery inside eventually began sparking and smoking.

He then dropped it on the tile floor of the classroom and tried to pour water on it, which emergency workers said was a bad idea.

Ambulances were called to the school from surrounding towns.

"Based on 15 to 20 students, we only have two ambulances," said Fire Chief Robert Fowler. "That's more than we can handle, so we called in aid from New Durham, Milton and Frisbee ambulance service to help us assess all the patients."

Two students were transported to area hospitals as a precaution. Officials said one girl had some preexisting respiratory conditions, and her parents wanted her checked out, while the other student's parents were being cautious. Both are expected to be fine.

The school said classes were able to resume quickly.

"Within an hour of the air quality check and examining the students, it was considered a safe zone," said Superintendent Frank Mellaci. "Students are back in taking their finals, and tomorrow will be our last day."

School and emergency officials said they hope the 430 students at Farmington High learned a lesson from the incident.

"These batteries actually can be dangerous," Fowler said. "They can be very dangerous. If you breach the battery, they can cause an explosion that can cause a significant amount of fire."

School officials said they are still taking statements and trying to determine if any discipline will be given.

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