Lab explosion due to domestic fridge

A fridge explosion at Michigan State University (MSU) may have been due to the use of a domestic fridge in a laboratory environment.

Emergency services attended MSU on Friday after an explosion in a laboratory in the University’s Giltner Hall. Part of the building was evacuated following the incident and, fortunately, the laboratory was empty at the time and no one was injured.

The force of the explosion was said to have been large enough to blow off the refrigerator door and break windows more than 20 feet away.

The University’s own news service confirmed the explosion, explaining: “The explosion was caused by isopentane in one room where an apparent chemical reaction occurred in a refrigeration unit. Isopentane (2-methylbutane) was placed in an unsealed container in a typical household refrigerator. A spark caused an explosion of the flammable vapour.”

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