September 12, 2013

UNE-Biddeford building evacuated for chemical odor

The Morgane Science Building was closed to classes Thursday while emergency officials searched for the source of the leak.

By David Hench
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD — Officials at the University of New England evacuated the science building after a professor smelled a strong chemical odor when he opened a storage cabinet.

The Morgane Science Building on the Biddeford campus was closed to classes Thursday while emergency officials searched for the source of the leak and assessed the exposure risks. It was scheduled to reopen as normal Friday.

The chemistry professor was preparing for class when he detected the odor at 11:30 a.m., and after alerting public safety officials, was taken to Southern Maine Medical Center for observation, the school said. He was released from the hospital in the afternoon and returned to campus.

The Biddeford Fire Department, York County Emergency Management Agency and Maine Department of Environmental Protection responded.

Kathleen Taggersell, a spokeswoman for the university, said the storage cabinet is located in a segregated room and contains small canisters of chemicals used in the school's labs.

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