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University of Regina lab cordoned off for dangerous chemical removal

The public is being asked to avoid the U of R campus for most of the day, as police remove the unstable chemicals.

REGINA — Regina emergency personnel are on site at the University of Regina campus on Friday for a scheduled removal of lab chemicals deemed to be potentially dangerous.

The U of R said that the chemicals were identified as potentially unstable during a recent inventory at science laboratories in the Research and Innovation Centre.

“Bottles of older chemicals stored in science laboratories [at the RIC] were discovered to have degraded to a point where they pose a potential explosive hazard if disturbed,” said the U of R, in a press release.

The labs were immediately closed with no access, said the statement, and the team of explosive and chemical experts from the Regina Police Service were then consulted.

RPS members are now handling the scheduled removal and disposal of the chemicals on Jan. 7, upon request of the university.

Residents are being asked to avoid attending the university’s main campus on Friday while the operation is ongoing, for safety reasons.

U of R security has restricted both pedestrian and vehicle access to the area surrounding the RIC and it's adjoining lab, with Regina Fire & Rescue and emergency medics also on site for support.

A controlled detonation will take place in a “remote, unpopulated area of campus,” said the U of R. Residents nearby may hear loud noises as a result.

The university said that the chemicals in question are used for teaching and learning purposes, and laboratories undergo regular health and safety procedures to maintain the safe handling and storage of chemicals on campus.

The removal operation is expected to last most of the day.

A Regina Police Service member prepares to participate in the removal of dangerous chemcials from a University of Regina lab. (supplied by the Regina Police Service)