ENCINITAS, Calif. (KTVU) - A school science experiment gone terribly wrong left an Encinitas boy with severe burn injuries to his face.
The incident happened on June 13 at Capri Elementary School.
Priest Rivera, 13, says he and other students were outside with their teacher trying to recreate the so-called "black fire snake" experiment which uses a combination of rubbing alcohol, sand, and baking soda to create a "black snake" or "glow worm," once lit on fire, KSWB reports.
Rivera believes his teacher may have poured too much accelerant which caused the experiment to explode in his face.
"The teacher started pouring more rubbing alcohol into the fire itself and it just exploded in my face," he told the news outlet.
His family said the boy has undergone four burn surgeries since the incident and he's in constant pain.
Rivera said, "Like, it feels like my skin is like burning."
When his mother, Gina Rivera, got a phone call from the school about what had happened she went into panic mode.
"In desperation, I was like, 'Is he disfigured? Does he have his hair? Does he have his nose? Please prepare me. Please prepare me,'" she recalled. "And the lady at the office just said, 'As a parent, I would prepare.'"
The Encinitas Union School District released a statement to KSBW that reads:
"The Issue that you are asking about involves one of our students and is still under investigation by the district. Due to the student's rights to privacy, we are unable to provide a response or update at this time."
The Rivera family has filed a lawsuit against the school district claiming the experiment was unsafely conducted.
"Before I die I refuse to let this go, because I don't want one parent to get a phone call like that with something that could have been avoidable," Gina Rivera said.