At around 4:30 p.m. yesterday, University Fire Marshals were contacted about a mercury spill on the first floor of the Heavy Engineering building according to Assistant Chief of Police Eric Olsen.
The fire alarm started going off and responders quickly worked to evacuate the building and evaluate those who were inside the building at the time. Abhilash Kulkai, a masters mechanical engineering student was about to enter the building at the time of the spill.
“They were checking the level of mercury on the body,” he said. “They had some solutions prepared for us so we had to step into the solution.”
Another student in the building at the time, Agranya Janbala, also a masters mechanical engineering student, had his shoes taken and the bottom of his pants cut off as a precaution to make sure nothing was contaminated, even though he was on the second floor and did not see the spill.
The campus community was notified of the incident at 8:10 p.m. via email that described the incident as a “small chemical spill in the first hallway.” The email explained that there was no danger to those on campus but asked that the area be avoided due to the number of emergency vehicles.
Anshul Lodha, a Ph.D mechanical engineering student said “they’re making sure everyone is okay and that there are no health issues coming up because it might be poisonous and could cause trouble with other students at the university.”
All three students were wearing protective gloves as a precaution. It is still unclear what has caused the spill.“Fire Marshals and University Police Officers responded and are currently on the scene determining the scope and cause of the spill as well as coordinating the safe removal of the mercury,” Olsen said.
The Stony Brook Press will provide more information as it becomes available.