“A fifth-year grad student in chemical engineering, who was working on an experiment was mixing three chemicals in a glass vial,” said CU spokesperson Bronson Hilliard. “He noticed that the chemicals were reacting in a volatile way.”
Hilliard said the 28-year-old student tried to move the vial to a safe location when it exploded in his hand.
“He appears to be OK,” Hilliard said. “He sustained a minor cut on his head from the vial. He walked under his own power to Wardenburg to get decontaminated.”
Hilliard said the student likely received a thorough chemical shower in order to neutralize any potential toxins.
“All the fire doors were closed,” said Andrew Gilbert, a 20-year-old junior aerospace engineering sciences major who said he was attending class in the engineering center at the time of the incident. “Cops were standing outside the doors to the hallway and there’s caution tape.”
Gilbert said he could not tell if the police officer was a CU police officer and he and other students were not sure of the specifics of the incident.
“The doors surrounding the hallway [where the classroom is] are closed,” Gilbert said. “So we don’t know what’s going on inside.”
Hilliard said the Boulder firefighters and hazardous materials crew are still in the process of a “walk-through” of the area and until completed, the area will remained closed.
“The south wing of the E-Center is closed, that wing housed the chemical engineering department,” Hilliard said. “We anticipate that it will take a while to complete the walk-through.”
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Sarah Simmons at Sarah.email@example.com.