Archive for Friday, October 29, 2010

Malott Hall reopens after chemical spill, evacuation

October 29, 2010, 2:54 p.m. Updated October 29, 2010, 5:15 p.m.


Kansas University’s Malott Hall reopened about 4:45 p.m. Friday, several hours after a chemical spill caused students and staff to evacuate the building.

A small amount of ammonium hydroxide spilled in a prep lab on the first floor of the seven-story building. No one was injured in the spill, said Chris Keary, KU assistant police chief.

About 2 p.m., a female staff member was returning a 2.5 liter bottle of ammonium hydroxide to a shelf when it fell and broke. Emergency crews evacuated the entire building, which houses the physics and chemistry departments.

Hazmat crews arrived on scene to decontaminate the spill, which took place in an older part of the building that's located at 1251 Wescoe Hall Drive. KU's environmental, health and safety department is continuing to clean up the spill.

While the lab remains closed, the rest of the building has reopened.


DillonBarnes 7 years, 3 months ago

Woo, a twofer! Hope everyone is alright.

ralphralph 7 years, 3 months ago

My word, we do over-react to just about everything these days.

DillonBarnes 7 years, 3 months ago

Ammonia can be a pretty nasty substance, walking into an invisible plum of gas is like hitting a brick wall and your throat can instantly close. I don't know how diluted the substance was but I betcha the emergency crews didn't know for sure either.

It is much better to overreact to a situation like this than to have people become injured or worse because not enough action was taken.

BlackVelvet 7 years, 3 months ago

They would evac the entire building if a thermometer's worth of mercury were spilled too.

DillonBarnes 7 years, 3 months ago

I would venture a guess that there are a lot more spills in Malott than we hear about. These alerts may be the result of a line of communication that simplifies the issue and responders must respond at a level for a serious issue. Again, I would much rather have an overreaction than an under-reaction.

CreatureComforts 7 years, 3 months ago

Apparently, it is December 21, 2012 at KU!

inklines 7 years, 3 months ago

ralphralph, you should look up the MSDS report for Ammonium Hydroxide. It will burn flesh, both outside and inside the body. It will even dissolve some metals such as copper and corrode aluminum. Full body suits with a self-contained breathing apparatus are required for clean up. Household cleaning products that contain ammonia are extremely diluted. I hope the staffer that dropped the bottle is OK.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 3 months ago

I thought that the responders and KU did everything right.

it was the 6news coverage of this story and the gas leak on west campus, sheeeeeesh! waaaaaaaaaaay overkill. you'd have thought that dozens of bodies littered the landscape, death was stalking more victims, and doom hung darkly over douglas county land!

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