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Vapor spreads in USU lab, sends 2 to hospital

Published: Friday, June 13 2014 9:31 p.m. MDT

Logan firefighters and EMTs were called to the Agricultural Sciences building for a chemical spill at the Utah State University in Logan on Friday, June 13, 2014.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

LOGAN — Seven people evacuated Utah State University’s Laboratory Animal Research Center on Friday after the chemical Virkon S vaporized and spread.

University officials say someone wrongly put the disinfectant into a chamber for the second time since March 21. One woman was taken to an area hospital.

“She’s the one who opened the autoclave,” USU spokesman Tim Vitale said. “She’s the one who got the face-full. It vaporizes once it goes into the autoclave, so she was the one who was closest in proximity to it.”

Another man with pre-existing health conditions was taken to a hospital in a private car. Vitale said both are expected to recover.

The employee who made the mistake was not at the training after the first accident, Vitale said. The school will have to conduct that again.

“Following that last incident, our university’s environmental health and safety employees did conduct extensive training for employees of the (research center),” Vitale said.

No animals were hurt when the vapor spread in the building at 900 Aggie Blvd.

— Peter Samore

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