Follow up information on BU explosion Wednesday from BU student newspaper. Interesting "statistics" in the last paragraph... - Ralph http://www.dailyfreepress.com/bfd-responds-to-minor-chemical-explosion-in- metcalf-1.1769661 The Daily Free Press BFD responds to minor chemical explosion in Metcalf Taylor Miles Published: Thursday, June 25, 2009 Updated: Thursday, June 25, 2009 Boston Fire Department responded to a level-three Hazmat situation in Boston University=92s Metcalf Center for Science and Engineering on Commonwealth Avenue Wednesday night after a chemical reaction took place in a storage cabinet and caused a minor explosion. No one was injured, and very little damage was caused by the =93explosive effect=94 in the third floor laboratory, BFD Chief Joseph Fleming said. The cabinet is used to store chemical waste prior to disposure, and someone apparently mixed two =93incompatible=94 chemicals, Fleming said. The pressure build up from the chemicals caused the container to burst, which in turn caused the cabinet door to buckle, Fleming said. =93The concern for us was obviously that we weren=92t sure which chemicals were involved,=94 Fleming said. Two students were in the lab at the time of the explosion and left the room immediately. Fleming estimated that approximately 20 to 30 people were in the building, all of whom were evacuated after the BU Police Department pulled the fire alarm upon arrival. Fleming said the entire BFD Hazmat team was sent to the scene, which ranked the incident as a level-three situation. In order to determine if the area was safe, the team used a gas gauge to detect any =93combustible or toxic gases=94 in the room. The levels weren=92t high enough to set off the censor, he said. =93Everyone did a great job tonight, BUPD was on the scene immediately,=94 BU spokesman Colin Riley said. =93[It] showed all the training and coordination we=92ve done over the years with the Boston Fire Department has worked as it should.=94 BFD had received the call around 8:45 p.m. and determined the area was safe enough for BU Environmental Health and Safety to take over at approximately two hours later, Fleming said. =93The students were very helpful,=94 Fleming said. =93They stayed around the whole time in the rain. Everyone was extremely helpful, and it made everything a lot more convenient.=94 Although Riley said he could not recall any recent similar incidents at BU, Fleming said this type of accident happens about every three weeks in the approximately 5,000 laboratories in Boston.
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