PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A small explosion sent Hazmat crews and emergency officials to the Chevron Science Center on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland this morning.
According to authorities, a Pitt grad student was injured during the mid-morning incident. It happened in a chemistry lab inside of the building in the 200-block of Parkman Avenue.
“Injuries occurred to his face, chest and arms. They are mostly burns. The medics said he’s in stable condition. He went to [UPMC Presbyterian Hospital], he’s conscious, alert,” said Chief Timothy Delaney, of Pitt campus police. “There’s no structural damage to the building and now what’s left is the cleanup.”
Officials report that a beaker full of a chemical called mercury perchlorate hydrate caused the explosion. The fire alarm went off and the building was evacuated.
“We were just shuffled outside,” said John Kavouris, a Pitt grad student. “Most of us at the time thought it was something accidental from workers, so we came outside and we saw fire trucks roll up and we thought maybe this was more legit.”
Several grad students were at the building this morning to take an entrance exam, but the test will have to be rescheduled.