Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 06:20:08 -0400
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: Follow-up: BFD responds to minor chemical explosion in Metcalf
Comments: To: SAFETY

Follow up information on BU explosion Wednesday from BU student  
newspaper. Interesting "statistics" in the last paragraph...

- Ralph

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 
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 
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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