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10 Mayde Creek Junior High Students Hospitalized After Cellphone Battery Malfunction


Ten students at Mayde Creek Junior High in west Harris County were rushed to the hospital last Friday morning, after a cell phone battery malfunctioned and filled the school cafeteria with smoke.

 Students were Taking Apart Old Phone

First responders were called to Mayde Creek Junior High, located in the 2700 block of Greenhouse Road near I-10/Katy Freeway, around 11:30 a.m. on February 14th. According to the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, a group of students were taking apart an old cellphone when the battery became hot and started to bulge and smoke.

“I heard a loud bang like a firecracker. Everyone was rushing to see what was happened,” one student told KHOU-11. “Smoke was everywhere. Everyone was coughing.”

Fortunately, quick-thinking staff members doused the smoldering phone with water and evacuated the cafeteria.

10 Mayde Creek Junior High Students Treated for Smoke Inhalation

It now appears that initial reports of an exploding cellphone and thermal burns were false.

“There were 10 students who were affected by smoke inhalation, and symptoms like nausea and irritated eyes,”  Katy Independent School District spokesperson Maria DiPetta told reporters last Friday afternoon.

Paramedics transferred seven of those students to Texas Children’s Hospital’s Katy Campus, while three others were seen at Houston Methodist West in Katy. Fortunately, none of their injuries were considered life-threatening and most had been discharged by 4:00 p.m. on Friday.

Cellphone Battery Incident Likely Not Intentional

About 1,100 students attend Mayde Creek Junior High.

Last Friday was an early dismissal day, so most had already left the school. However, a Valentine’s Day Dance set to get underway in the cafeteria later that evening was canceled. Students who purchased tickets will be given a refund if the dance can’t be rescheduled.

In the meantime, the cellphone battery meltdown remains under investigation. Although the Fire Marshal’s Office did take the phone into evidence, there’s nothing to indicate the incident was intentional.

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