Escaping Steam Burns Biologist
Steam escaping from a pressure oven in the Bio Labs burned and knocked unconscious a biology researcher late Saturday morning.
Shu-Ting Chang, Research Fellow in Biology, was paralyzed for several hours by the shock of the explosion. He was treated for first degree burns under the right arm and on the chest and a contusion to the chest at Cambridge City Hospital. Other students in the Labs were not injured.
Chang said last night the accident was caused by a faulty door on an auto clave, a pressure oven used for sterilization. Built to withstand a pressure of 15 pounds, the door sprung open under about ten pounds, spraying Chang with steam superheated to over 220 degrees Fahrenheit. There was no damage to the building.
Chang said he was sterilizing test tubes for an experiment in fungal mutations under the supervision of John R. Raper '39, professor of Botany, at the time of the explosion. He returned home yesterday afternoon after spending the night in Stillman Infirmary.