Tue 20 Mar 2018
- The award-winning student news website of Imperial College

Know something you shouldn't? Tell us, using our quick, 100% anonymous tip-off form!

Live! - News

Fire in RCS Chemistry Lab

Mar 16 2007 17:47
Ashley Brown & Nick Simpson
A fire broke out in the RCS building earlier this evening, with two people reported injured.
The incident occured in a chemistry lab in the RCS building (Photo: Felix)

Earlier this evening a fire broke out in a third floor research lab in the old chemistry building on the South Kensington Campus. As of 17:14 three fire appliances and a command unit were on Imperial College Road, with firemen testing breathing apparatus and fire engines already connected to the mains water supply. London Ambulance Service sent a paramedic car and one ambulance.

It was a comparatively tiny incident compared to recent ones

The fire did not appear serious from outside, with no smoke visible. It appears to have been confined to one fumehood within the lab, with the rest of the lab untouched. Two people have been taken to Chelsea & Westminster hospital with minor burns to the arms and face. It is thought that the incident is connected with quenching of sodium hydride.

The fire was put out within ten minutes of the fire brigade arriving and by 17:30 people had been let back into the RCS Building where the incident took place, with fire engines leaving the site.

This latest accident is the fourth visit of the fire services to the area this academic year, following a large fire at Albert Hall Mansions last month, a chemical accident in the Chemical Engineering building in the Autumn term and a suspect package in the Faculty Building which turned out to be light fittings.

With another suspect package having caused a large response in June, the fire brigade must surely be getting sick of visiting South Kensington, particularly Imperial.

Email this Article | Share on Facebook | Print this Article

Discussion about “Fire in RCS Chemistry Lab”

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.
1. Tris   
Mar 16 2007 17:37

Fire now died down, appliances dispersed, and student let back into the building. Top to bottom in about half an hour.

Secutrity are /loving/ the responsibility though...

2. av   
Mar 16 2007 17:47

well, when I went over at about 4.30 and the engines had just arrived. No one seemed to have a clue what was going on then. Lots of excited people watching though.

Mar 16 2007 17:54

I wonder if Live! qualifies for Women into Engineering money, for advertising the fact that firemen (they are mostly men) keep turning up? Surely worth a few quid...

4. Simon   
Mar 16 2007 22:19

At least it was RCS-1 rather than the main Chemistry building!

Annoying though, i wanted to get in there to drop off some Mass Spec samples......

Fires happen in chemisty..... though they dont NORMALY require a fire engine. Then again, i'm using Calcium Hydride on monday, so hopefully we wont have a repeat.

Mar 17 2007 03:18

Does anyone know why there was an ambulance outside Beit Qaud at 5:00pm? It arrived sirens blaring and was met by a security guard running out of Beit. I assumed it was part of this but now the timings seem wrong (and I didn't see any fire engines...)

Mar 17 2007 14:30

It was on its way to the incident. Chas was just directing it.

Closed This discussion is closed.

Please contact the Live! Editor if you would like this discussion topic re-opened.


Live! Poll

How frequently would you like to see a CGCU magazine being published