COLLEGE PARK – An explosion in a Univ. of Maryland lab left two students injured Monday. The explosion occurred when nitric acid and sulfuric acid were combined with a third unknown substance in a waste container, officials said.
Eleven people were evacuated from the lab room. The bio-chemistry building was declared safe about three hours after first responders arrived at 12:30 p.m.
The two injured students were taken to a nearby burn center where they were treated for first and second degree burns. Rescue officials did not disclose the students’ identities.
“This was a very violent chemical reaction and again it’s very uncommon for us to see that here at the University,” said Mark Brady, Chief Spokesperson, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Dept.
The explosion occurred as part of an experiment during a second-year chemistry class.
Environmental officials will work to determine what the third substance was that triggered the explosion, Brady said.