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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, December 06, 2021

Biochemistry building evacuated, one injured after chemical spill

The Madison hazardous materials team responded to a chemical spill in a UW-Madison biochemistry laboratory Monday after a graduate student spilled a highly flammable solvent, injuring one person.

According to a graduate student in the Biochemistry building, the student spilled about 40 liters of tetrahydrofuran (THF), a chemical that can dissolve a wide range of materials including latex gloves, flooring and other plastics, in the Ronald Raines laboratory between 10:15 and 10:45 a.m.

The graduate student, who wished to remain anonymous, said they received emails detailing the accident. According to the emails, a student was "reaching for a single, large bottle of THF when the shelf of multiple glass bottles crashed down." Some amount of the chemical spilled on the student, who immediately rinsed under a chemical shower and changed clothes.

The injured person in the laboratory suffered a minor cut, Madison Fire Department spokesman Eric Dahl told

A hazardous materials crew, police officers, ambulances and fire trucks responded immediately and evacuated the building. Authorities closed Linden Drive and firefighters set up ventilation equipment at the scene to clear the fumes from the building.

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