Update on the TAMU incident

I just spoke with Simon North, a chemistry professor at Texas A&M university and the adviser of the two students injured earlier this week. He pointed me to a press release update that I’d missed:

The two graduate students involved in the accident Tuesday at the Chemistry Building Annex were released the same day from the local hospital where they were treated for what officials described as minor injuries. An internal review into events surrounding the incident concluded that no explosion occurred. Rather, the facts are that the students were conducting a routine preparative procedure involving use of a glass vessel that became over pressurized and shattered. The procedure involved the transfer of a condensed gas from a vessel in a chemical hood using established protocols when the incident occurred. The system was maintained at dry-ice temperatures to keep the sample in the condensed phase. Also, there was no structural damage to the laboratory. Steps are being taken to prevent any such reoccurrence.

North says that the students were transferring a condensed gas and keeping it cold with a dry ice-acetone bath. While they were checking the transfer volume, the gas warmed up enough to pressurize the system and a bubbler shattered. The students received some minor cuts from the glass but are otherwise fine.

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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