Fire takes hold in university lab

A chemical blaze took hold in the Technical University in Graz, Austria yesterday (Tues), causing almost 80,000 Euros worth of damage. According to the fire department, the metal initially set alight could be extinguished with water.

The emergency services were automatically alerted to the fire in the “New Chemistry” building at the university on Tuesday afternoon. During an experiment in the laboratory some lithium caught fire and was in real danger of exploding. Once alight however the metal could not be extinguished with water and the fire began to spread. By the time the fire brigade had arrived, the majority of the lab was on fire.

The entire institute was evacuated whilst 28 firemen worked to get the blaze under control. It was eventually extinguished after two hours but work continued through the night to secure the laboratory and ensure its safety. The damage caused is predicted to cost the university between 60,000 and 80,000 Euros.