A 13-year-old is recovering from burns to his face after he and family say a science experiment at his school went terribly wrong.

The incident happened June 13th at Capri Elementary School in Encinitas, California.

Priest River and his family say the teacher was standing outside with a group of students trying to recreate the so-called “black fire snake” experiment.

The experiment involves creating a snake, using a combination of rubbing alcohol, sand and baking soda and then lighting it up.

Priest believes the teacher may have poured too much accelerant causing the experiment to explode, burning his face.

The family says the boy has been through four burn surgeries so far and Priest says he is constantly in pain.

The Encinitas Union School District declined an interview, but did release this statement:

The issue that you are asking about involves one of our students and is still under investigation by the district. Due to the students’ rights to privacy, we are unable to provide a response or update at this time.

The Rivera family has now filed a claim against the school district.