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Lab Explosion Kills Professor

Submitted to Labsafety-L list on November 1, 2001 by Andrew Zlotorzynski

On Tuesday evening, October 30 the University of Wroclaw, a chemistry professor died after explosion in his laboratory. Explosion completely destroyed his and two adjacent labs. Nobody else was present in the laboratories at that time. The chemistry building remains evacuated and local hazmat team is cleaning the wrecked laboratories. So far there is no information what caused an explosion. Firefighters mentioned possibility of ethylenediamine vapours as a detonation trigger.

Prof. Michal Wilgocki was 54 years old and worked for the last 30 years fields of synthesis, structure and reactivity of transition metal compounds; homogeneous metal complex catalysis; rhodium chemistry related to catalytic hydroformylation of olefins; tungsten and rhenium chemistry related to olefin metathesis; metal oxo complexes (molybdenum and rhenium), their structure and reactivity related to olefin metathesis and epoxidation; photo- and electrocatalysis of organometallic systems; low temperature electrochemistry and spectroelectrochemistry of organometallic systems; activation of small molecules (H2, O2, CO, CO2, SO2) via organometallic complexes