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Chemical explosion at Arizona State research lab injures 3 people

(Facebook Photo/ ASU Biodesign Institute)

PHOENIX – Three people were injured by a chemical explosion at a research lab at Arizona State University in Tempe on Tuesday.

Tempe Fire Department Assistant Chief Andrea Glass told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the explosion was caused by chlorine dioxide, which resulted in a workbox becoming overpressurized.

A third-party contractor was conducting a routine cleaning of the Biodesign Institute lab at the time.

“This was a standard procedure that they utilize to prepare a research lab for the next project that was coming in,” Glass said.

Three people were treated at the scene with skin lacerations and punctures from the incident. Two of victims, a 50-year-old male and a 27-year-old male, were transported to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

No ASU students or personnel were injured.

Tempe Fire accessed the scene and there were no additional hazards detected at the scene.

There are no road closures or portions of campus that are closed from the accident.

The lab has since been turned over to ASU’s Environmental Health Department and the Arizona Fire Marshal’s office for investigation.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

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