It was not an attack with chemical weapons that forced an evacuation at the University of Iowa on Wednesday but it was close. A pungent chemical smell filled all of the classrooms and offices of the U-of-I’s Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts & Sciences late yesterday afternoon. It didn’t take long for officials to order the entire building to be evacuated. It turns out a post-doctoral student was trying to open a bottle of trimethyl acetyl chloride when he spilled about an ounce of it. The stench quickly traveled throughout the building via the ventilation system. The unnamed student was taken to the hospital but was not seriously hurt. The building’s open again today.
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