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Incident in Chemical Engineering

Nov 17 2006 14:54
Ashley Brown
Almost 10 appliances from the London Fire Brigade attended a chemical accident in Chemical Engineering yesterday.
Only some of the appliances on campus

Part of the Sherfield walkway, ACE extension and buildings around Chemical Engineering were closed yesterday while the Fire Brigade deal with an accident. This also affected NUS campaigning outside the JCR, as everything that side of Sherfield was shut restricting the flow of traffic past the JCR stalls. One security officer commented of the NUS penguins: "is that due to the chemicals?".

A statement from the Chem Eng Head of Department, Stephen Richardson, indicated that waste material was being disposed of in the courtyard of the Bone building. When it was poured into the waste container a gas, mainly hydrochloric acid, was released and the emergency services called. Buildings were evacuated as a precaution on the advise of the emergency services.

London Fire Brigade sent around 10 appliances to deal with the incident, including a command and control unit and a major incident unit parked on Prince Consort Road. It is believed the size of the response was a result of the LFB testing their full emergency response procedure, which proved to be a sensible decision.

You won't get it round there mate...

Fire hydrants around Chemical Engineering were not working, as a water main had been shut off for building work. Hoses were run around the outside of Sherfield to a position over 100m away. Later on what appeared to be a brand new fire engine attempted to enter via Prince Consort Road and promptly got stuck, after nearly clipping the railings. It extracted itself a few minutes later and managed to take the corner from a better angle, entering the campus successfully.

There were no injuries due to the incident and the buildings reopened this morning, however some people were forced to leave their cars parked overnight.

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Discussion about “Incident in Chemical Engineering”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Nov 16 2006 13:50

Did anything get spilt on the NUS invaders?

Nov 16 2006 14:01

Did the Yes campaign complain that this was a stunt orchestrated by the No campaign yet?

Nov 16 2006 17:37

Intrestingly John Collins and a penguin invaded the end of a 1st year Chem Eng lecture not long before the evacuation. My main point is that the evacuation itself was a complete shambles given the apparent seriousness of the incident, people unaware of the chemical spill were still coming out of ACEX over an hour after the first people were evacuated from ACEX.

Nov 16 2006 19:52

You have no idea how bad the evacuation was. The first evacuation took place about lunchtime. When it got to 2, the main door of Aero (Prince Consort road) was opened, but not the rest, so you could still get into the building and into ChemEng. Some other door must have been opened at about 2.30, as a bunch of people came to the lecture half-way through.

However, the building needed to be re-evacuated (or maybe we should have never been in, who knows). At about 3, the main door was again locked but, although security was not letting people in, nobody bothered to come up and tell both Aero students and lecturers that we need to get out until 3.30.

Not suprisingly, Aero doesn't like us and wants us dead *sigh*

Nov 16 2006 20:01

I left at 2 as I had nothing in the afternoon, and realised I was never going to have the free lunch I was waiting for so it was pointless hanging around ACEX entrance. So I only knew the situation up until I left. I got evacuated at 1 so that is terrible it took until 3.30.

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