ORCHARD PARK, N.Y (WIVB) - An experiment did not get the reaction a professor at ECC South had hoped for. The small chemical explosion had students fleeing the building.
Emergency crews were called out to the campus Monday morning and worked quickly to evacuate one of the building's where chemistry classes are taught.
Deputy Chief of Newton Abbott Fire Company Brian Evaldi said, "The professor was doing a demonstration and the demonstration went wrong."
Evaldi says it happened inside one of the classrooms inside Building 3, and that four people, including a professor, were evaluated for exposure.
"They were just evaluated to make sure there were no chemical burns, make sure there's no inhalation burns. And we found none of that," Evaldi said.
The building, located near the campus entrance at Southwestern Boulevard, was closed down for the rest of the day.
ECC President Jack Quinn said, "We got a clean up contractor coming in this afternoon who will clean it up and certify that it's safe to go back in, and we're expecting classes as normal."
Evaldi says the amount of sodium used in the demonstration was about the size of a fingertip.
"When the sodium hit the ice, there's a reaction when it hits ice water or it's cleaned up with water, and what happened is the ice particles exploded," he explained.
He says there was some smoke in the room, but no fire.
Quinn added, "Nobody hurt. Nobody injured. No threat to anybody else on campus. It's perfectly safe. The alert system worked. We got to everybody. We were able to quickly assess what was happening here. Knock on wood, we're happy it wasn't much worse."
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