BYU lab experiment causes explosion, sends one student to hospital with minor injuries

By Jen Riess, | Posted - Jul. 15, 2020 at 6:01 p.m.

PROVO — Brigham Young University Police received a call on Wednesday afternoon of an explosion in the campus's Clyde Building.

Provo City Fire Captain Sam Armstrong said officials responded to the explosion at around 4 p.m. A student was performing a controlled hydrochloric acid experiment under an enclosed hood in one of the labs. The experiment had an unexpected reaction and exploded.

The student was able to go into a decontamination shower in the building before he was transported to Utah Valley Hospital with minor injuries.

Armstrong said the enclosure took most of the discharge from the explosion and prevented a much more dangerous situation.

"The containment hood worked as it's supposed to," said Armstrong. "It minimized the potential effects of what could've been a bad situation."

He added that it is an unfortunate event whenever anyone is injured.

The building has been cleared. BYU PD Lt. Rich Christensen says there appears to be no residual gas in the building at this time. BYU's risk management team is conducting further investigation, evaluating the level of hydrochloric acid in the area and will decide when to reopen from there.

Jen Riess

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