More than a dozen Florida high school students were injured when a performer caught fire during a pep rally on Thursday, officials said.
None of the injuries were considered life threatening, but seven students were sent to the hospital after breathing in fire extinguisher residue, and a dozen more were treated on scene for respiratory complaints, said Capt. Kevin Saxton of the Delray Beach Fire-Rescue Department.
The performer, who caught fire during a baton trick near the end of the rally, suffered burns and was hospitalized with serious injuries, Saxton said.
The performer was a paid contractor for the rally, which was meant to raise spirits in advance of the Florida Standardized Assessment exams, said Kathy Burstein, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County School District.
The rally also included students answering math questions and administrators doing slam dunks, she said. Other schools in the district had used fire performers for similar events, she said.
Classes at Atlantic Community High School resumed almost immediately after the accident, Burstein said.
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