SOUTH OAKLAND (KDKA) – A chemical spill at a CMU building prompted a full evacuation Thursday night.

The spill happened at the Pittsburgh Technology Center on Technology Drive in South Oakland.

Most of the space in the building is utilized by students in the CMU entertainment technology center. The fourth floor is dedicated to chemistry and medical science.

A small spill of a substance called methyl methacrylate prompted the evacuation and HAZMAT officials said it’s the first incident of its kind that they’ve responded to.

“We’ve always been told that this could happen, but we’ve never actually expected it to,” Justin Sabo said.

“We found out that there was some sort of accident on the fourth floor and everyone was told to evacuate the building and sit out front,” Dave Bennet said.

A small spill of methyl methacrylate during an experiment prompted a full evacuation. The compound is used in the manufacturing of certain plastics.

HAZMAT said it’s volatile and can be toxic.

“This specific chemical has a very low odor threshold, so just a minor spill gives off a real distinct odor and the odor made its way out of the room into the hallway,” Pittsburgh HAZMAT Chief Bob Farrow said.

Students said there was no panic or chaos, but there was certainly some concern. They also said this is the first time that this has happened at this building.

Students will be allowed to go back inside the building on Friday.


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