False Explosion Report Prompts Evacuation At TU Science Lab

Monday, August 24th 2009, 3:45 pm
By: News On 6


TULSA, OK -- Keplinger Hall at the University of Tulsa was evacuated Monday afternoon after reports of an explosion. Crews with the Tulsa Fire Department arrived to the scene and found there had not been an explosion, however crews removed chemicals said to have the potential to be explosive under certain circumstances.

Firefighters were called to the campus at about 2:30 p.m. in the 400 block of South Gary.

Firefighters found there was not an explosion, no gas release and no injuries. School officials said no students were in the immediate vicinity of the lab where the chemicals were.

Tulsa Fire Department spokesman Bill French said a professor explained to firefighters he had found two chemicals near each other. One was a type of peroxide that will crystallize after a period of time and create a potentially volatile chemical reaction. Another chemical found was one that is flammable when it comes in contact with moisture.

The chemicals are commonly used in chemistry labs, but TU officials said they notified authorities because it was unclear how long the materials had been stored in a lab that was used by a former employee.

University officials are reviewing the incident, but foul play isn't suspected.

The Tulsa Fire Department hazardous materials team and the Tulsa Police Department bomb squad removed and disposed of the chemicals.