September 27—The Seattle Fire Department Hazardous Material Team neutralized a small hydrochloric acid spill at a University of Washington Lab. The spill occurred at 8:36 a.m. in the 600 block of Northlake Place.
University District’s Engine Company 17 arrived and evacuated the 5-story building as a precaution. Upon arrival, the fumes from the spilled substance did not allow the firefighters to immediately enter the sealed off lab.
A male student in his 20’s was treated for first degree burns to his arm. AMR transported him to UW Medical Center in stable condition. The student was able to quickly jump into a decontamination shower which prevented his injuries from being more serious.
The spill was caused when the bottom of a 2 liter flask dropped out causing a spill of the solution which contained 37% hydrochloric acid. The lab is specially designed to isolate and contain hazardous spills. The building is designed to safely ventilate the fumes from the lab.
Hydrochloric Acid is corrosive to the skin and also poses an inhalation hazard.
Specially trained Hazardous Material Team Technicians entered the lab in their protective suits and neutralized the spill. Shortly before noon and after the hazard was mitigated, the building was turned over to the University of Washington.