Injuries after university explosion

EXPLOSION: Senior Firefighter Dave Berry was one of the crew who raced to the university.
EXPLOSION: Senior Firefighter Dave Berry was one of the crew who raced to the university.

Two research students have neck and hand injuries after an experiment went wrong in a science laboratory.

Police, St John and the Fire Service rushed to the University of Canterbury's Rutherford building after reports of a "small explosion" at 12.36pm, a Fire Service spokesman said.

Science vice-chancellor Professor Paul Fleming said a male research student was working in a laboratory on the sixth floor of the Rutherford building when a flask exploded.

INJURIES: There has been a suspected explosion at Canterbury University's Rutherford building (pictured).
INJURIES: There has been a suspected explosion at Canterbury University's Rutherford building (pictured).

"He has some injuries to his hand," he said.

A female student in the lab suffered neck injuries.

A St John spokesman said the two students were taken to Christchurch Hospital with minor injuries.

The building was evacuated, but staff and students were now able to go back inside, Fire Service Canterbury assistant regional manager Dave Burford said.

Firefighters had already left the scene, he said.

"The university have their own emergency crew there and they were very quick. They're well prepared for any type of incident like this."

Burford did not know what type of chemical was involved, but there was no risk to people in the area.

The Press