Hydrochloric acid spill in Tan Hall prompts 6th-floor evacuation

Arya Aliabadi/Staff

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Campus officials evacuated the sixth floor of Tan Hall following a chemical spill Thursday evening.

A student was working with the chemical — which Berkeley Fire Department identified as a two-liter bottle of 37 percent hydrochloric acid solution — when it spilled, according to John Ruiz, emergency management coordinator for the UC Berkeley Office of Emergency Preparedness. Two other students were in a different room on the floor at the time of the spill.

BFD responded about 7:45 p.m., and about an hour later, the Office of Emergency Preparedness arrived on scene to neutralize the spill, using sodium bicarbonate and absorptive pads. Officials do not believe any of the chemical got down the drain and said fume hoods were on at the time of the spill, providing some ventilation.

As of 10 p.m., all the labs on the sixth floor were closed, although they are scheduled to reopen Friday morning, Ruiz said.

Contact Megan Messerly, Savannah Luschei and Kimberly Veklerov at [email protected].