Smith Hall explosion injures one

A graduate student was hurt Tuesday afternoon after a chemical explosion.

A University security monitor stands outside Smith Hall after a research-related chemical explosion Tuesday afternoon.

Chelsea Gortmaker

A University security monitor stands outside Smith Hall after a research-related chemical explosion Tuesday afternoon.

Blair Emerson

A small chemical explosion Tuesday afternoon at Smith Hall left one University of Minnesota graduate student injured.

University spokesman Chuck Tombarge said the University’s Department of Emergency Management received a call just after 1 p.m. about an explosion on Smith Hall’s fourth floor in a laboratory in the building’s southeast corner.

The injured student was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center with serious burns, according to a press release.

The Minneapolis Fire Department, University police and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene, Tombarge said.

Graduate student Reed Eisenhart said the injured student was doing research in a laboratory when the incident occurred.

The fire department evacuated the approximately 50 people in the building and sealed off the laboratory.

Eisenhart said he saw the student with burn marks and cuts in his arm. He also had a “pretty deep wound in his side,” Eisenhart said.

“There was a lot of blood in the lab,” he said. “I saw him walk out of the lab, and he was just white as a ghost.”

The building was reopened Tuesday night, and the release said no structural damage was reported.