May 7 15:30:46 2004
From: University Communications
To: ABCD distribution
Subject: Accident in Chemistry and Biochemistry Building
Faculty member injured in chemistry accident
A New Mexico State University faculty member was injured by
glass shards when a glass instrument exploded while chemicals were being
combined as part of an organic chemical synthesis Friday in the NMSU
Chemistry and Biochemistry Building.
The incident occurred shortly after noon in a laboratory on
the second floor of the building.
The only other person present, an
undergraduate student who was assisting the faculty member with his
research, was not injured. The faculty member, assistant professor of
chemistry Stephen Starnes, was taken to Mountain View Regional Medical
Center for treatment.
The two were following the standard published protocol for
the chemical procedure, said Katrina Doolittle, director of the
university's Environmental Health and Safety Office.
The cause of the
explosion will be investigated, she said.
The NMSU Fire Department evacuated the building and called
for assistance from the Las Cruces Fire Department and the city's
hazardous materials team as a precaution. The building was reopened for
use about 2:45 p.m., except for the room where the accident occurred.