HazMat crews called to NC State's campus

Emergency officials were called to a nuclear lab building on NCSU's campus overnight due to a leak.
October 29, 2013 3:56:33 PM PDT
Emergency officials were called to a nuclear lab building on North Carolina State University's campus overnight due to a leak.

HazMat crews were called in to the Burlington Nuclear Engineering Lab after a container of liquid nitrogen started leaking gas.

The container was wheeled out of the classroom by emergency crews and was checked again later in the day.

The incident prompted no evacuations, no one was hurt, and there was no damage to the building.

Authorities assure the public the building on campus is safe. The university said no foul play was involved and that the tank was releasing pressure.

However, some students who take classes in the building are concerned about the leak and said there are hazards.

"When you're pouring it you can actually get serious burns," said engineering student Jalen Feaster.

"If it comes in contact with your skin it can be very dangerous. It freezes. Like if you put it on. Rose or something like that, it'll drop on the ground and shatters. It just freezes everything," added nuclear engineering student Carolina Keller.

Liquid nitrogen tanks are used at the school's nuclear reactor, but the university said this tank was not inside the reactor building or part of any mechanism used at the nuclear reactor.

A university official said the decision to bring in a HazMat team was done as a precaution and the situation typically does not require an emergency crew.

Although some students said they are concerned there was a leak, they still feel safe going to classes in the building.

"The people at this university they're really dedicated to their jobs and they want to make sure everybody's safe so I have complete confidence that they will keep any situation controlled," said Keller.

The university said the only thing they can do to prevent this in the future is to "educate the staff more to avoid unnecessary anxiety."

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