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Hazmat Scare at UVA Observatory Hill

By: Bianca Spinosa Email
By: Bianca Spinosa Email

May 10, 2009

A Hazmat scare kept emergency crews busy Sunday at a building near the High Energy Physics Lab on Observatory Hill at the University of Virginia.

Officials say a student was working in the old nuclear reactor building next to the high energy physics lab, when she saw a strange, clear liquid on the floor.

She called 911 around 1:00 pm and crews responded, eventually discovering that the liquid was only water.

Officials say the building hasn't been used as a nuclear reactor in years, but they still took extra precautions.

"I think everyone that was responding wasn't thinking anything nuclear, but it has lab facilities, so they have lots of different types of things going on in these buildings," says David Hartmann, the Charlottesville Special Operations Battalion Chief. Hartmann was most concerned about a possible chemical risk.

Fire crews had the area blocked off while they checked out the building. They left by 3:00 pm.

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