Beaker chemical accident injures student

May 20, 2011

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — At approximately 11 a.m. Thursday, the University of Florida Police Department and Gainesville Fire Rescue responded to a report of an injured person and a beaker explosion that occurred at the Materials Engineering Building.

Upon arrival, units from both UFPD and GFR assisted the injured person, UF student Zhi Zhou, 27, and secured the lab where the incident occurred. Zhou was transported to Shands at UF medical center with non-life threatening injuries.

After the GFR Hazmat Unit cleared the lab where the minor explosion occurred, it was determined that the materials involved were hydrochloric acid, tetrachloride, titanium and water, which were combined and heated in a 30-milliliter beaker. Given the small and contained nature of the explosion, the building was not evacuated.

All units from UFPD and GFR cleared the scene by 11:43 am, with only staff from the University of Florida Environmental Health & Safety, and Physical Plant Division completing follow-on tasks.