HAZMAT crews respond to chemical incident at RPI

Posted at: 05/07/2013 4:51 PM
Updated at: 05/07/2013 10:10 PM
By: Anna Didio

TROY - An RPI maintenance worker was treated for "slight" injuries at Samaritan Hospital Monday afternoon after mystery chemicals from a two-liter soda bottle exploded in his face.

Troy Police say the worker was cleaning up near Rousseau Hall around 1:35 when he found the found on the lawn, picked it up, and tossed it into a nearby dumpster.

A police HAZMAT team removed remnants of the bottle late Monday afternoon and sent it to a lab to be analyzed.

Most of the afternoon, the 45 students who live in Rousseau Hall remained under a mandatory evacuation order, waiting outside in the warm sun. Many were anxious to begin studying for final exams which begin next week.

Troy Police Captain John Cooney says it was "an exothermic reaction basically meaning that chemicals were placed in the bottle causing it to burst upon being handled."

Rousseau Hall was reopened to students just before 6:00 P.M.

Police will continue to investigate.