Firefighters Respond to Minor Chemical Explosion at Tufts

A pressurized plastic bottle exploded at a Tufts University lab, leading to a rapid response from Somerville firefighters, who at the time knew only there were reports of a chemical explosion.

The Somerville Fire Department responded Tuesday evening to a "a minor explosion and a small spill" at a chemical lab, according to District Chief Jim King.

The minor explosion caused some mild acid to be spilled, King said, and no one was injured in the incident.

The small explosion happened at 62 Talbot Ave. in Somerville at a building called the Pearson Memorial Laboratory on the Tufts University campus.

Initial reports of a chemical explosion at the laboratory prompted a rapid and heavy response from fire personnel at about 6:15 p.m., according to scanner transmissions.

Somerville Patch was on the scene at about 6:30 p.m., shortly after firefighters arrived, and at the time students and workers in the laboratory had been evacuated from the building but were not sure what had happened.

According to King, it was pressureized plastic bottle that exploded, and the district chief described the workers in the laboratory as "young PhDs." Although the explosion was minor, they called the fire department out of caution.

By about 6:50 p.m. fire personnel cleared the area and workers were able to go back into the building.

Stephen J. Cronin May 31, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Has the City of Somerville sent Tufts the bill yet?
Aburel Viorica November 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM
This is sad but accidents can happen. Hope all goes well for Tufts. www.damadoo.co.uk
Rudolph S Caparros Jr December 13, 2012 at 10:08 PM
HazMat Experts and Firefighters petition Dow Chemical and Union Pacific for safe rail tank cars transporting gas chlorine. Secondary containment is a necessary improvement that must be implemented. See--PETITION C KIT for First Responders Comments.
Rudolph S Caparros Jr December 13, 2012 at 10:09 PM
TOXIC TRAIN SAFETY - A First Responders Petition caused The Chlorine Institute to conduct a five-month study comparing the safety of secondary containment to the chlorine “C”-Kit for chlorine tank cars. The study proved secondary containment to be, by far, the safest technology for containing and preventing releases of chlorine gas. To see secondary containment - search “CHLORTANKER.”
Rudolph S Caparros Jr December 13, 2012 at 10:09 PM
WARNING: FIRST RESPONDERS’ use of THE CHLORINE INSTITUTE “C” KIT may cause the catastrophic failure of a chlorine tank car, instantly creating a toxic gas plume with a distance of not less than seven miles. The first mile will have chlorine concentrations of 1,000 ppm, causing death after one or two breaths with no opportunity for escape. To learn more, see PETITION C KIT, click on “First Responder Warnings.”


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