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Student injured in German lab explosion

16 January 2014

A 24-year-old student was hit by flying glass and breathed in poisonous chemicals which are thought to have caused a lung embolism, police in Karlsruhe said on January 16. He was one of 17 Karlsruhe Institute for Technology chemistry students affected when a mix of nitric acid and sulphuric acid came into contact with an organic chemical.

The organic chemistry students were clearing up after an afternoon's lab work when a glass beaker containing the left-over acids exploded, scattering acid, poisonous fumes and pieces of glass across the laboratory. Police estimated that around €10,000-worth of damage was caused.

All those in the lab inhaled the gases, which led to some breathing difficulties, police said in a statement. The 24-year-old student was seriously hurt and was taken to accident and emergency at the local hospital.

The others were taken to various hospitals nearby for examination, as was a firefighter who suffered a chemical eye injury.

The building was evacuated while firefighters carried out tests for chemicals, but found no danger.


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