Medical area cordoned off following chemical spill

Firefighters evacuated the Phillips-Wangensteen Building following a spill in a seventh-floor lab.

by James Nord

Firefighters have cordoned off a roughly three-block stretch of Harvard Street Southeast following a chemical spill before 6 p.m. at the Phillips-Wangensteen Building.

Two students spilled two to four liters of the chemical pyridine in a seventh floor lab in the building, firefighters said.

Firefighters evacuated the building and hosed down the students.

No injuries have been confirmed.

Firefighters warned of danger if the chemical were inhaled, and ushered crowds away from the area, saying âÄúitâÄôs that serious.âÄù

At least eight fire trucks and a HAZMAT crew arrived at the area.

Access to streets around Centennial Hall and University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview has been restricted.

A graduate student who works in the lab and witnessed the spill, said the emergency response was excessive, adding that during business hours, a specialized department would handle it. 

The University has issued two text message alerts, including one urging students to “stay away from the blocks surrounding on [sic.] Washington from Union to Harvard down to East River Parkway over to Union.”