Two small chemical bombs apparently detonated inside a Missouri State University sorority house yesterday causing minor injuries to one individual.
The incident at the Gamma Phi Beta sorority house involved "two chemical overpressure devices that were found to have exploded," the Springfield Fire Department says in a news release.
The fire marshal found "what appeared to be two plastic containers that ruptured from over pressurization." One person -- police don't specify if it was a student -- sustained chemical burns to the arm after touching the substance while attempting to clean up the bottles before fire officials arrived, authorities say.
This individual was treated at the scene.
The person who found the containers called 911, and the fire department's hazardous materials team responded -- and quickly determined that the materials in question were not hazardous.
There was, however, minor damage to the exterior, but no structural damage to the building, fire officials say.
It apparently was not a very loud explosion. The fire department says it's unknown when the containers ruptured, but that it most likely happened several hours before anyone noticed. The investigation is ongoing.
Fire officials say the devices were "not incendiary in nature and did not contain explosive material." They do, however, pose a danger to individuals and while some may think it's a "harmless prank," the department says, using the devices is considered a Class C felony.
The sorority tweeted that everyone is OK:
Every one is okay at the GPB house! We appreciate the support from the FSL community and are thankful that there were no serious injuries.— Gamma Phi Beta MSU (@GammaPhiDeltaNu) August 21, 2013
And the incident sparked some MSU fraternity twitter love:
Thank you @MoStatePiKapp!— Gamma Phi Beta MSU (@GammaPhiDeltaNu) August 21, 2013
Missouri State University posted an update from the fire department on its Facebook page, noting that the city had corrected its original release.
That release says, "The Fire Department did not intend to raise undue concern over this incident."
Daily RFT left a message with a fire department official to get additional information. We'll update if we hear back. In the meantime, the full fire department statement:
Update on investigation at sorority house
The Fire Department would like to clarify and update the incorrect information in a recent news release on the investigation into the two chemical overpressure devices that were found to have exploded at the rear entrance of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority House at 1141 East Elm. A person found the remains of two plastic containers at the rear entrance and called 911. The Fire Department's Hazardous Materials team responded, but upon arrival determined that it was not a hazardous materials incident and requested a Fire Marshal to investigate. The Fire Marshal found what appeared to be two plastic containers that ruptured from over pressurization. One person sustained chemical burns to an arm having come into contact with the substance while attempting to clean up the bottles prior to the Fire Department's arrival. The individual was treated at the scene for minor injuries and declined transport. While there was minor damage to the exterior, no structural damage occurred to the building. It is unknown when the containers ruptured, but was most likely at least several hours before being noticed. The Fire Department will continue to investigate.
While these devices were not incendiary in nature and did not contain explosive material, they do pose a danger to individuals. The Fire Department did not intend to raise undue concern over this incident; however, it does want individuals considering using such a device thinking it is a harmless prank to know that it is considered a Class C Felony.
And here's footage from Channel 5 (KSDK):
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.