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Image courtesy of the Prairie Village Post
This afternoon, just before school was dismissed, the Prairie Village Police, Consolidated Fire District 2, Overland Park Bomb Squad, and Overland Park Fire Department arrived to investigate a chemical reaction.
According to the district: “A chemical reaction occurred inside a refrigerator in a science storage area over the weekend. The local fire department was contacted to ensure the safe cleanup and removal of the chemical. There was no immediate danger to students or staff.”
Students were dismissed at the regular time of 2:40, and the district spokesperson Leigh Anne Neal announced that all after-school activities could carry on as planned.
Updated, February 12 2013, 10:41 am
The chemical reaction was caused by nitrogen tri-iodine being moved from one refrigerator to another. Chemistry teacher Steven Appier was unsure of why this caused the reaction.
“Evidently what happened was we were trying to reorganize based on the new safety principles we’ve been given,” Appier said. “Maybe this refrigerator wasn’t as cold- I don’t know. What must have happened was that something dried out and went off. When I got to school yesterday morning I opened the door and it was filled with a cloud of iodine gas.”
Appier discussed what to do with the other chemistry teachers and decided to contact authorities to ensure safety. However, Appier believes that the teachers could have disposed of the chemicals on their own with minimal risk of a harmful reaction. Authorities arrived on the scene at 1:30 pm. They checked the building for bomb risks and contacted professionals at the Marine Base in Quantico, Virginia and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to make sure that they were following procedure properly. The building was proclaimed safe by 10 pm.