TOXIC SPILL: Hazardous leak in the Chem department

Hydrogen chloride gas filled the lab.

Cambridge Cambridge University chemical leak Chemistry chemistry department Department Firefighters gas safety Toxic

The fourth floor of the Department of Chemistry was evacuated yesterday evening, as firefighters were called in to deal with a dangerous chemical leak. 

Firefights and a hazardous materials unit were rushed to the the scene at 5pm, when 1kg of phosphorous pentachloride was spilt, reacting with the air to give off hydrogen chloride gas.

According to Paul Clarke,  the station commander, a tactical plan was agreed with the on-site specialists, who proceeded to evacuate the building.

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Most other departments are only full of hot air…

The crews, equipped with breathing apparatus, and air tight suits, proceeded to set up a decontamination area in the laboratory.

Speaking to Cambridge News, a University spokesperson stated “Thanks to our stringent safety protocols, and the quick action of our staff and the fire service, we were able to contain the incident very quickly.”

The incident was dealt with by 7.43pm.

“The staff acted so nobody was put at risk or injured during the incident.”