Grad student in critical condition after experiment explodes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/8/10

Grad student in critical condition after experiment at Tech explodes

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - An explosion on the Texas Tech campus sends two students to the hospital, one with critical injuries.

One of the graduate students remains in critical condition at University Medical Center after a chemical explosion in the Chemistry Building on Thursday around 4:00 p.m.

"There was a grad student who was doing an experiment, there was an explosion," says Cory Chandler with the Office of Communications and Marketing at Texas Tech University.

Texas Tech University confirms Preston Brown is the graduate student who was working on the experiment.

Cory Chandler with the Texas Tech Office of Communications and Marketing says Brown was taken to UMC with serious burns and cuts to his face and hands. He remains in critical condition.

"We obviously take safety very seriously and follow procedures, sometimes things to happen, but it is something that we take very seriously," says Chandler.

Brown and another graduate student were working with the chemical Nickel Hydrazine Percholorate.

The building was not evacuated after the explosion. "There was not a risk of chemical exposure and there was not a risk of any further danger to any one in the building," says Chandler.

The other student involved was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

University Police, EMS, and Haz Mat professionals from the Texas Tech Environmental Health and Safety Department responded to the scene.

The Haz Mat crew is conducting an investigation to try to find out exactly what happened.

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