The mother of a 13-year-old Conway student contacted police on Wednesday after her son was allegedly injured by a fire extinguisher while riding a school bus.
The woman told police her son was riding Conway school bus #114 home from school when the bus driver reportedly struck a curb while making a turn, causing the fire extinguisher to fall off of its mount and into the seat next to the boy.
After a few seconds, the woman said the extinguisher allegedly exploded, covering the boy in chemicals. The woman also told police a piece of the extinguisher hit the boy in the head.
The mother reported that the bus driver provided no medical attention to any of the children on the bus who were affected by the explosion, and reportedly made the boy stay in his seat until he was dropped off at his home minutes later.
The woman said she took the boy to the hospital, where he was treated for a concussion and mild chemical burns.
According to a report, police photographed a small bump on the boy’s left temple, as well as some mild swelling where the chemicals made contact with the boy’s face.
In an e-mail on Wednesday, Dr. Greg Murry, superintendent of Conway Public Schools, claimed the fire extinguisher never left its bracket.
“For clarification, the fire extinguisher did not explode,” Murry wrote. “A girl pulled the pin on the fire extinguisher and then a boy trying to put the pin back in hit the handle a little bit and a small amount of the fire retardant leaked out.”
Murry said he is also unaware of anything that the bus driver “did or did not do” that would warrant school officials taking any disciplinary action against the driver.
Conway police reported the incident to the child abuse hotline. The investigation is ongoing.
(Megan Reynolds is a staff writer and can be reached at 505-1277 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net.)