News at Princeton

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014
 

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UPDATE: Frick Lab reopened after temporary evacuation

(Note: This article was updated after all three individuals who were taken to the hospital were released.)

About 300 people were evacuated from the Frick Chemistry Laboratory today after a glass container in a storage cabinet broke and injured a postdoctoral researcher.

The researcher, who was wearing rubber gloves and eye protection when the incident occurred at 1:19 p.m., was taken to the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro for treatment of minor chemical burns on her face. A graduate student who was in the laboratory at the time also was taken to the same hospital as a precaution. The lab was inspected and reopened at 3 p.m.

Nitric acid had been mixed with a solvent in the container, causing a reaction that built up pressure. When the container broke, the impact forced open the cabinet door, which struck the researcher, bruising her right knee.

The Department of Public Safety, Facilities Site Protection, Princeton Fire Department, Princeton University volunteer firefighters, the Trenton Fire Department's hazardous materials team and the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad responded to the incident.

A public safety officer was taken to the hospital for evaluation after he experienced tingling in his arm, which may have been caused by exposure to the acid as he was helping the researcher.

No one else was hurt.

About 150 students who were taking an examination in the building were moved to another location.

All three individuals who were taken to the hospital were released later in the afternoon.

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