One Worker Injured in Winston-Salem Lab Explosion
Details of the Lab Explosion
At least one worker is being treated for injuries sustained in a small lab explosion at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter building in downtown Winston-Salem. The accident happened around 10 a.m. Monday morning in a lab located on the building’s fourth floor.
Over 100 workers were evacuated from the building as Hazmat crews secured the lab and contained the explosion. Authorities say the explosion involved sodium azide and a trade chemical.
The lab was part of Asinex’s U.S. headquarters in Winston-Salem. Asinex is a Russian-based company that makes substances used in the pharmaceutical industry.
Sodium Azide Facts
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sodium azide is “a rapidly acting, potentially deadly chemical that exists as an odorless white solid.” The CDC notes that sodium azide is commonly known as the chemical substance found in airbags. It is also used in detonators and other explosives.
People exposed to sodium azide may experience headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate and skin burns. Larger exposures can result in convulsions, loss of consciousness, lung injury and respiratory failure. Those who experience serious exposure to sodium azide may suffer heart and brain damage in the long-term.