At approximately 2:45 this morning, there was a small explosion in a chemical lab at the University of South Florida campus. It occurred in the college's Research and Innovation Building. Though nobody was in the lab at the time of the explosion, the law enforcement officials who arrived at the scene emptied the building, which is currently off-limits to students and faculty until it has been cleared for reentry.
The cause of the explosion is still unknown and currently under investigation, though it is very clear that a piece of equipment was affected. The explosion blew the door off of one of the industrial refrigerators that is used to store chemicals and other materials for the lab. The explosion, though relatively minor, was still big enough to blow the refrigerator door off its hinges and into one of the double-pane glass windows. The inner panel was directly struck and was shattered by the refrigerator door.
There was no fire reported at the time of the incident, according to a fire department spokesman. The hazardous materials team that searched the lab and the rest of the building assured members of the public that none of the potentially harmful chemicals within the lab had spilled or leaked out, so there was no cause for concern. The building will remain closed until officials determine what the cause of the explosion was in the first place.
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