One Student Injured After Chemical Lab Explosion At BYU

Jul 15, 2020, 6:16 PM | Updated: 7:17 pm
FILE: The W.W. Clyde Building at BYU. (Pastelitodepapa/CC0/Wikipedia)...
FILE: The W.W. Clyde Building at BYU. (Pastelitodepapa/CC0/Wikipedia)

PROVO, Utah – A Brigham Young University student was taken to the hospital with minor injuries after an explosion occurred in the W.W. Clyde Engineering Building, according to Lt. Rich Christianson with the BYU Police Department.

Capt. Sam Armstrong with Provo Fire & Rescue said the explosion was a hydrochloric acid spill that occurred during a controlled experiment.

“(It) had a reaction that was not anticipated,” Armstrong said. “It was in an enclosure hood, so it was kind of encapsulated and (the hood) took care of most of the discharge.”

Christianson said police originally received reports of a gas leak at the building and the incident involved magnesium chloride.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information says magnesium chloride is not combustible, but it gives off irritating or toxic fumes or gases in a fire.

Students received an alert Wednesday afternoon asking them to avoid the building due to a “fire incident.”

The student was treated in a decontamination shower in the building before being taken to Utah Valley Hospital with minor injuries.

“The containment hood worked as it’s supposed to,” Armstrong said. “Minimized the potential effects of what could have been a bad situation.”

Officials said there appeared to be no residual gas in the building and no other injuries were reported.

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One Student Injured After Chemical Lab Explosion At BYU