One day, I was entering the lab and was pushing open the stainless steel safety door when I felt a 'thud' and something hit the door and knocked it back at me nearly hitting my face.

I went forward again and the door bottom scraped on broken glass on the floor. I walked in to find a broken high pressure hydrogenation bottle lying on the floor, and there was about a 2" deep depression in the door at waist height.

It seems that the HP hydrogenator blew up just as I was walking in the door. The explosion was such that it destroyed the safety cage around the bottle, but did not disturb anything to the sides or behind the apparatus. It was all directed one way, towards the door, just like a shaped charge. If I had been about 1 second earlier, I would have probably not survived. Nothing was harmed except for the safety cage, bottle and door (which was only dented). I do believe in miracles!

Neither this nor the incident above happened at EK. These were both in graduate school.

PE