Hazmat incident at Vagelos Labs prompts UPennAlert
The Philadelphia Fire Department was among respondents to the scene
February 8, 2013, 11:44 am·
Harry Cooperman | DP
DPS became aware of a possibly dangerous chemical interaction at Vagelos Labs at 4:48 a.m. this morning, according to Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush. Officers responded to the situation, and spoke to the man behind the chemical interaction.
In order to “be absolutely sure” that no danger would come of the situation, Rush said that a perimeter was set up along 34th St. and around the exterior of Vagelos Labs.
A UPenn Alert was sent out at 5:28 a.m. due to Vagelos’s proximity to the University’s health center, as well as the possibility of researchers or other people being in the area then or during rush hour.
In addition to this, the Hazardous Material, or Hazmat, Unit of the Philadelphia Fire Department was called, as was Penn’s Environmental Health and Radiation Safety.
EHRS responds “to any incident that may involve hazardous materials,” Executive Director Matthew Finucane said. However, as the potential threat never materialized, “there was nothing for us to do.”
Rush said that despite fears of a dangerous chemical reactions, it turned “out there was no such reaction.”
An all-clear message was sent out at 7:03 a.m.
“These are the reasons we practice emergency drills. We followed that plan to a tee,” Rush said.