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Boy Chemically Burned at Playground

The Associated Press reported in the Chicago Tribune that a 2-year-old boy in Maryland was severly burned Saturday after he went down the slide at an elementary school playground. Authorities said someone had broken into the school and stolen several bottles of industrial-strength drain cleaner and splashed it all over the playground equipment. The boy's mother Carol Duschl said her son Peyton Duschl was scheduled for surgery Sunday morning and will most likely be hospitalized for several weeks. Peyton suffered second- and third-degree burns from the cleaner which contains a strong concentration of sulfuric acid, said Division Chief Michael Robinson of the Baltimore County Fire Department. Peyton was with his grandmother at the playground. No one else was injured. Peyton was taken to the pediatric burn unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where the first hospital's emergency room had to be evacuated because they tracked some of the drain cleaner in with them. Whoever is responsible could face charges of first-degree assault, burglary and destruction of property, said Sgt. Vickie Warehime, a county police spokeswoman. A hazardous materials team cleaned up the playground, using tens of thousands of gallons of water, Robinson said.

BBC News reported that there were signs of forced entry to a storage room at Victory Villa Elementary School in Middle River. "I just don't understand what would draw somebody to do something like that," Ms. Duschl told US television station WMAR-TV. "What kind of sick joke is that?" Warehime said that whoever poured the chemical was also likely to have been burnt.