Edmonton

U of A research building evacuated after chemical explosion

Edmonton fire crews are on the scene of a chemical explosion Wednesday afternoon on the main University of Alberta campus.

200 people evacuated from building, no injuries reported

Edmonton fire crews are on the scene of a chemical explosion Wednesday afternoon on the main University of Alberta campus.

The nitric acid explosion was in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Research building near 116th Street and 91st Avenue.

There were no injuries.

Firefighters got a call about alarms ringing in the building at 1:40 p.m. and arrived on scene within six minutes, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services spokesperson Maya Filipovic told CBC News.

By that time, 200 people had been evacuated from the building, Filipovic said.

Three people were in the room where the explosion happened, she said. All three were wearing proper protective equipment and were able to get out of the room safely.

The ventilation system was functioning properly and helped get rid of any fumes, Filipovic said. A hazardous materials crew remains on scene.

According to the PubChem open chemistry database, nitric acid is a colourless liquid used in the manufacture of inorganic and organic nitrates and nitro compounds for fertilizers, dye intermediates, explosives and many organic chemicals.