Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 12:21:20 -0500
Reply-To: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: UCLA Lab Fire
Comments: To: SAFETY

Research assistant burned in chemical fire

written by Anna Andersen
Published: Thursday, January 1, 2009
A 22-year-old research assistant at UCLA remains in stable condition  
after a chemical fire left her with second- and third-degree burns on  
40 percent of her body on Monday.

The victim, whose identity has not been revealed, was working with T- 
Butyl lithium, a pyrophoric compound which caught on fire when it was  
exposed to air, said James Gibson, director of UCLA Environment,  
Health and Safety.

While she was extracting the compound, the stopper on the syringe came  
undone and exposed the chemical to air.

Gibson said he did not know how the stopper came undone but said the  
syringe was found melted.

"This kind of accident is very rare," he added.

The fire, which occurred in the Molecular Science Building, was  
reported at 2:57 p.m., according to a report by Melissa Kelley, a  
spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. A fellow research  
assistant was able to put the fire out with water before the fire  
department arrived, and there was no structural damage to the building.

The victim has since been transferred to the Grossman Burn Center in  
Sherman Oaks and remains in stable condition, Gibson said.


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