Six MetroTech Center, which houses NYU Polytechnic’s School of Engineering, was evacuated this afternoon amid reports of a chemical spill in the building. The spill occurred shortly after 2 p.m. The FDNY issued an “all hands” call, to which firefighters, hazmat personnel, and at least ten trucks responded.
An NYU public safety official and a FDNY firefighter both reported that no people were seriously injured; the firefighter added that the large response was “typical” for potentially-toxic spills. “It got a little too ‘Dexter’s Laboratory’ in there,” he told me. A separate firefighter told me, unofficially, that he had heard the chemical in question was sodium bromide, which has a very low toxicity. The cause of the spill was a burst pipe. Official spokespersons could not divulge more information at the time.
Despite the scare, no one seemed overly concerned. Around 4 p.m. this afternoon, dozens of employees and students were milling about in the MetroTech plaza. Baristas at Starbucks were mixing frappucinos, and down the Myrtle promenade a large crowd had gathered to watch the World Cup.