UConn: Mixed chemicals during lab cleaning led to hazmat evacution

Photo of Peter Yankowski
Police cruiser file photo

Police cruiser file photo

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STORRS — Part of the University of Connecticut campus was evacuated Friday evening for a hazardous materials situation after a lab cleanup went wrong.

Stephanie Reitz, a spokeswoman for UConn, said the person cleaning the lab accidentally mixed two chemicals together, causing the container to rupture and “creating an odor in that fourth-floor room and nearby.”

The entire building was evacuated and UConn emergency personnel were called to the scene a little after 4 p.m., according to Reitz. One person was evaluated at the scene, but no injuries were reported. The building was not damaged, Reitz said.

The university sent out an alert that was also broadcast on social media asking people to avoid the area. By 5:42 p.m. university officials said the incident was under control, but continued to ask people to avoid the area because emergency personnel were working at the scene.

The science complex was reopened around 6:30 p.m., but the fourth floor remained closed while UConn authorities cleaned the lab. The floor was later reopened but the lab will remain closed through the weekend, Reitz said.

The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded and assisted at the scene, she said.