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Chemical spill in UW-Madison building sends 1 to hospital

MADISON, Wis. - One person was taken to the hospital Monday afternoon after a chemical spill on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, officials said.

Madison fire crews responded at 1:36 p.m. to the Animal Sciences building on Observatory Drive, the fire department said.

As the crew was led to a 10th-floor laboratory where the spill occurred, an EMT stayed outside with the patient to begin medical evaluation until paramedics arrived. The patient was experiencing eye irritation after a bottle containing chloroform/methanol was dropped on the floor, the report said. 

The lab manager assured firefighters that the scene was no longer hazardous, but the crew proceeded to the lab donning personal protection equipment as a precaution, according to the report. Among the shards of broken glass, the crew found a crystalline residue left behind by the chemicals, which had already evaporated.

Two UW chemical safety specialists quickly arrived to the lab to take over cleanup duties. They offered further assurance that there was no danger to occupants.

Firefighters retrieved the patient’s belongings and took the person to the hospital. The MFD Hazardous Incident Team was briefed on the incident, but was not activated.


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