Chemical Smell Forces UT Dorm Evacuation

By: Whitney Daniel
By: Whitney Daniel

Knoxville (WVLT) - A mysterious smell in clement hall on the UT campus forced hundreds of students to be evacuated from the dorm.

We have new information since we first broke the story on FIRST at 4:00.

Students are back in the building after a chemical scare forced them out just before 4:00 p.m.

The Knoxville Fire Department responded to Clement Hall after a worker poured four different chemicals down the drain.

It was a mixture of drain cleaner, upholstery cleaner, carpet cleaner and acid to clean up lime. The mixture isn't harmful, but it did create a strong odor that made its ways through the first floor of the building, but as a safety precaution the fire department evacuated the dorm.

When crews arrived, they checked pH levels and took air samples and found nothing harmful.

They ventilated the building because of the smell.

The worker who poured the cleaning chemicals down the drain has some irritation on his hands, where the mixture splashed onto him. He went to the Student Health Center for treatment. Another worker was taken to Fort Sanders for respiratory problems, but we're told he's being treated for bronchitis and the fumes may have just irritated that.

Students were allowed back in at 5:00 p.m. and everyone is ok.


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