Chemical Explosion in Science Building at ECC

November 5, 2012 Updated Nov 5, 2012 at 9:41 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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November 5, 2012 Updated Nov 5, 2012 at 9:41 PM EDT


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y (WKBW) A report of a chemical explosion inside the Math & Physical Science Building (Building #3) at the Erie Community College South Campus in Orchard Park sent emergency crews racing to the scene.

The incident happened around 9:30am Monday morning and was confined to one room.

Fire crews from Newton Abbott Fire Company, the Hamburg Police, and ECC security evacuated the building and took four possible victims to the school's nursing office.

According to officials, a small amount of potassium came in contact with some ice cubes during a lab session.

Potassium reacts violently with water by igniting and even exploding.

Deputy Abbott Newton Fire Chief Brian Evaldi tells Eyewitness News that a small chemical explosion created smoke after the potassium accidentally came in contact with water on ice cubes during a lecture by a professor.

The four victims included the instructor and students.

They were evaluated at the scene and suffered no major injuries.

Building number three on the ECC South Campus was closed for the remainder of Monday as a private contractor was brought in to clean up the chemical spill.

ECC says it hopes to reopen the building for classes on Tuesday.