University Prof. Recovering After Chemical Explosion


Dickinson, ND – A Dickinson State University chemistry professor is recovering from his injuries after what university officials are calling a small explosion earlier this month.

Students were evacuated from Murphy Hall on the DSU campus.

While Professor Ken Pierce was preparing a classroom demonstration in the chemistry lab, an incident occurred, resulting the explosion.

Pierce suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. He was initially transported to CHI St. Alexius Health in Dickinson before being transferred to Bismarck, according to a statement from DSU.

No students were injured in the incident. Three students indicated they were experiencing ringing in their ears due to the loud noise. They were evaluated and released by paramedics.

A message went out to students and personnel to evacuate the building, saying it was “not a drill.”

Campus police evacuated Murphy Hall shortly after the incident occurred with Dickinson police aiding in securing the building and blocking Eighth Avenue West to keep people a safe distance from Murphy Hall.

Due to the nature of the incident, an emergency response company was brought in to ensure cleanup was thorough and appropriate for the chemicals in the room.