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Some ISU students and faculty ordered to briefly ‘shelter in place’ after chemical leak

A safety perimeter outside the Eames building on the ISU Pocatello Campus. | Logan Ramsey, EastIdahoNews.com
POCATELLO — Students and faculty in the area of a hazardous materials leak have been ordered to shelter in place on Idaho State University’s Pocatello campus.
ISU sent out a student alert at 11:43 a.m. warning students to stay clear of the William M. and Karin A. Eames Advanced Technical Education and Innovation Complex at 1999 Alvin Ricken Drive. It also warned students currently inside the building to stay there and not evacuate.
“There is (a) hazardous materials event occurring outside the EAMES complex on (the) Pocatello campus,” the alert said. “Please stay clear of this area if you are going to this location.”
First responders and hazardous material experts are currently on the scene and have created a safety perimeter around shipping containers where the leak occurred.
A news release from the Pocatello Fire Department says ISU employees were in the process of inventorying and removing donated neutron detectors. They discovered the detectors contained cracks, causing a Boron trifluoride gas leak.
The employees were in full protective gear and are trained in handling hazardous materials, so exposure risk from the leak was low and there were no injuries. The inventory was being completed with safety procedures and personal protective equipment for handling toxic materials, according to the release.
The Pocatello Fire Department has since taken the lead on the incident, “and emergency crews are on scene to contain the material safely.”
“The first responders are currently safely repackaging materials for later removal, but the risk to the public is being contained,” university spokeswoman Emily Frandsen said.
Currently, there are no know exposures or risks to the public outside the perimeter or inside the nearby building.
Air intakes in the building in the affected area were shut off, “out of an abundance of caution to reduce potential risk to occupants.”
“People who are currently in the Eames Complex building have been asked to briefly shelter in place,” according to the release.
EastIdahoNews.com will update this story as more information becomes available.

A safety perimeter outside the Eames building on the ISU Pocatello Campus. | Logan Ramsey, EastIdahoNews.com
The post Some ISU students and faculty ordered to briefly ‘shelter in place’ after chemical leak appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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