University of Arkansas evacuates two buildings after chemical spill

University of Arkansas staff were evacuated from a section of the campus for two hours Wednesday after a chemical spill was discovered in the Agriculture Building.

The spill happened around 10 a.m. when shelves inside a chemical storage room collapsed. Several chemical-filled glass bottles fell from the cabinet, breaking on the floor below. One University of Arkansas researcher was nearby when the spill happened, but was unharmed.

Campus police evacuated university staff from both the Agriculture Building and the adjacent Plant Sciences Building. Classes weren’t in session, so no students were in danger.

Hazardous material personnel from the Fayetteville Fire Department were quickly on hand to investigate alongside chemistry and biochemistry professor Bill Durham. Together, they determined the chemicals weren’t dangerous, but should be cleaned up as quickly as possible to avoid any dangerous chemical reactions.

The buildings were reopened by noon with fans turned on to ensure there were no toxic fumes in the air. The chemicals were cleaned up and placed in hazmat containers to be moved to storage. and moved to a hazmat storage area.

The University of Arkansas’ RazALERT emergency message system was active throughout, informing faculty and staff of the evacuation and when they were allowed to return.

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