Killed in Lab Accidents: A Memorial


Lab accidents are regrettably too frequent. So that their memory is never forgotten, the Laboratory Safety Institute maintains this list of those who have lost their lives in lab accidents. If you have information concerning any of these incidents or others, please share it with us at

Unknown (3)2018, Beijing, China. Three students were killed in a lab explosion at Jaiotong University. They were researching wastewater treatment.
Manoj Kumar2018, Bengaluru, India. 28-year old researcher was killed in a high-pressure hydrogen cylinder explosion at the Indian Institute of Science.
Ge Guo2018, Exton, PA. 26-year-old worker at Frontage Laboratories died as a result of exposure to potassium cyanide.
Emmanuel Tsuro2017, Harare, Zimbabwe. Student researcher died from burns received when a fire broke out in a microbiology lab at Premier Service Medical Investments.
Glenn Nix2017, Tallahassee, FL. Construction worker killed when a steel cap blew off a high pressure pipe on a device used to cool down one of the magnets at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.
Krysten Lim Siaw Chian2016, Jurong, Singapore. Leeden National Oxygen chemist was killed in an explosion caused by a faulty valve on a gas cylinder.
Meng Xiangjian2015, Beijing, China. Postdoctoral researcher died in a hydrogen explosion at Tsinghua University.
Huy Siep2015, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A 34-year-old science teacher was spraying a flammable gas while preparing the classroom for a lesson at the University of Health Sciences. The gas ignited, and the teacher died from smoke inhalation.
Dwight Freeman2014, San Antonio, TX. 50-year-old technician died at Southwest Research Institute as the result of a lab accident.
Vipin and Robin2014, Delhi, India. Two technicians in a pathology lab died in a fire caused by a short-circuited air conditioner.
Hassan Kamal Hussein2014, Doha, Qatar. Lab worker died from explosion in petroleum lab at TAMU-Qatar.
Unknown (6)2013, Middleburg, South Africa. Six people died in an explosion at the Rolfe Pharmaceutical Laboratory.
Javier Ortiz2013, LaPorte, TX. 30-year-old chemist and father of three died in an explosion at Air Liquide plant.
Carlos Amaral2013, North Andover, MA. 51-year-old died from burns following a trimethyliridium explosion in a Dow Lab (formerly Rohm and Hass).
Richard Din2012, San Francisco. 25-year-old VA hospital lab worker died from exposure to bacterial strain causing septicemia and meningitis.
Unknown2012, Shanghai. Graduate student at university opened a poison gas cylinder and died from inhalation.
Unknown2012, Germany. Experienced lab worker died from accidental exposure to trimethylsilyldiazomethane.
Adrian Martin2011, Menlo Park, CA. Researcher died in lab methane explosion.
Dr. Nanaj Bhamare2011, Aberdeen, MD. Killed at Aberdeen Proving Ground from an explosion.
Unknown2011. A Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to lab exposure sickened 109 people in 38 states and caused one death.
Michelle Dufault2011, Connecticut. Died from a lathe accident at Yale.
Nilamma2011, Mysore, India. Alcohol fire.
Rajendra Yadav2010, New Delhi, India. Scrapyard worker, 35, died disassembling a 3,500kg irradiator containing cobalt-60.
Tyson Larson2010, Sumi Valley, CA. 28-year old inventor died in explosion at Realm Industries, an alternative fuel research company.
Richard Folaron2010, Tonawanda, NY. Killed in a lab accident at DuPont facility.
Malcolm Casadaban2009, Chicago, IL.  A researcher at the University of Chicago Medical Center died from exposure to Yersenia Pestis, a plague-related bacterium.
Sheri Sangji2009, California. t-butyllithium fire at UCLA.
Alfredo F. Gutierrez2009, Adelphi, MD. Electrocution in lab at ARL (Army Research Laboratory).
Roland Daigle2008, Nova Scotia, Canada. Trimethylsilyldiazomethane poisoning. The lab fume hood was not operating due to roof work on the building.
Jason Siddell2008, New Jersey. 24-year-old chemist died after being exposed to trimethylsilyldiazomethane.
Parish Ashley2007, Explosion at T2 Laboratories in Jacksonville, Florida
Charles Bolchoz2007, Explosion at T2 Laboratories in Jacksonville, Florida
Robert Gallagher2007, Explosion at T2 Laboratories in Jacksonville, Florida
Karey Henry2007, Explosion at T2 Laboratories in Jacksonville, Florida
Dominique Burget2006, France, National Inst. of Higher Learning in Chemistry, Ethane explosion
Tarun K. Mal2005, Cleveland State University, Electrocution
Kenton Joel Carnegie2005, University of Waterloo, geological engineering student, wolf attack during field work in Athabasca basin (northern Saskatchewan)
Antonina Presnyakova2004, Russia, Vektor Res. Ctr., Ebola infection
Unknown2004, St. Paul, Minnesota, Vet Tech Hospital, an employee was trapped inside steam washer used to clean animal cages while the washer was in the final rinse cycle. The employee could not open the door from the inside, could not stop the washer, and was fatally burned.
Unknown2003, Rochester, NY, Industrial lab explosion
Scott Spjut2003, West Valley City, UT, Forensic scientist, rifle discharge
Robert Goldhammer2003, University of Texas, Geology Department, Assistant Professor was killed when his vehicle rolled over on the way to the field camp.
Raquel Vieira de Savariego2003, University of Texas, Geology Department. Visiting scholar was killed when his vehicle rolled over on the way to the field camp.
Michal Wilgocki2001, Wrocław, Poland, University of Wrocław chemistry professor killed in lab explosion.
Unknown (8)2001-1985, Journal of Clinical Microbiology report (2005) eight fatal lab infections from meningitis bacteria. Six were in USA
Set Van Nguyen2001, Australia Animal Health Laboratory, Nitrogen suffocation
Unknown2000, New York City, Columbia Medical Center, Nitrogen suffocation
Unknown1999, Scotland, Nitrogen suffocation
Unknown1999, Edmonton, Canada, Agat Laboratories, toluene inhalation death
Julian Szeicz1998, Queen University (Canada), Geology Professor killed in avalanche
Unknown1997, Franklin County, GA, HS senior electrocuted in science class putting up wires.
Elizabeth Griffin1997, Atlanta, Yerkes Primate Center, Rhesus monkey, Herpes B virus infection
Unknown1997, Atlanta, High School senior electrocuted in science class putting up wires.
Karen Wetterhahn1997, Dartmouth College, Dimethylmercury poisoning
Ray Rudelis1996, Florida Petroleum Research Lab, Acetylene explosion
Michael Hanly1996, New York City, Discarded hydrofluoric acid kills sanitation worker
Charl Broquet1996, University of Texas, Geological Sciences, graduate student was killed when the UT jeep he was driving hit a tree at high speed. Charl was familiarizing himself with the jeep that he was going to be driving to/in his field area.
Unknown1995, Hong Kong, Graduate Student, exposure to unreported spill by Ph.D.
Unknown1994, Collegeville, PA, Sterling Winthrop Pharmaceutical, Electrocution
Unknown1994, Australia, Palynolab Resources, Hydrofluoric acid exposure
Dennis Park1993, Elkton, MD, Thiokol, Rotary evaporator flask explosion
Unknown1993, Pasadena, TX, High school student drowns on biology field trip
Jeanne Messier1993, San Diego, UCSD biology grad student, hanta virus exposure in field work
Unknown1992, Stanford Research Institute, CA, Hydrogen/oxygen explosion
Andrew Riley1992, Stanford Research Institute, CA, Hydrogen/ oxygen explosion
Unknown (2)1992, Hong Kong, University instructor and grad student suffocated in cold room when liquid nitrogen spilled
Ralph “Corky” Soldato1992, Pittsfield, MA, GE Plastics Research Center, Centrifuge explosion
Unknown1992, Pennsylvania, Merck research lab pressure vessel explosion
Unknown1992, Edwardsville, IL, SIU, hydrogen explosion drying solvent
Dr. Theo Annin1991, Western Ontario University, Ether fire in fume hood
Unknown1991, Checotah, OK, Cyanide poisoning
Unknown (2)1991, Osaka University, silane cylinder contaminated with nitrous oxide exploded, Two graduate students killed
Unknown1990, New Jersey physics student electrocuted
Unknown1990, Okinawa, Japan, High school student drowns during oceanography class
Unknown1989, New Jersey, High school student electrocuted working on TV set in physics class.
Unknown (2)1989, Michigan, Two analysts die from exposure to Herpes B virus in lab
Name Withheld by Request1988, Tacoma, WA, Pierce College, A&P lab drinking saline mistakenly containing sodium azide
Unknown (4)1988, McMasterville, Quebec, CIL Explosives & Tech Center, lab explosion kills four
Unknown1988, California high school custodian goes into coma and dies following inhalation of old chemicals discarded in dumpster by new high school teacher
Unknown1988, Berkley Heights NJ Silane explosion
Steven Carveillas1988, Berkley Heights NJ Silane explosion
Lou Molinini1988, Berkley Heights NJ Silane explosion
Unknown1986, Friendship Moscow State University Chemistry and Chemical Engineering building fire kills Ph.D. student from India
Unknown1985, Bedford, MA, Lincoln Lab worker dies from exposure to undetected arsine leak
Unknown1984, Minneapolis, 19 year-old FDA dies opening an autoclave which explodes on opening
Helena Zinger1984, Antwerp, Belgium, died in unidentified lab accident
Unknown1983, San Antonio, TX, Lee High School student electrocuted in science lab
Unknown1983, San Francisco, CA, UCSF Medical Center, Maintenance worker dies from exposure to Q-Fever from sheep used in lab experiments.
Unknown1982, Colorado School of Mines, Engineering graduate student dies from exposure to hydrogen sulfide
Unknown1982, Michigan, Lab technician dies from burns sustained trapped in cage cleaning autoclave
Unknown (2)1981, Corning, NY, Corning Sullivan Research Facility HF tank leaked.  Two killed in clean up
Unknown1981, San Antonio, High School Student electrocuted in science lab.
Unknown1981, Kazakstan, Russia, National Academy of Science refrigerator ether explosion and fire
Unknown1980, Boston, MA, University of Massachusetts female student dies drinking water from a lab faucet in a “clean” beaker
Sunny Su1979, Dartmouth, MA, University of Massachusetts, grad student in solvent explosion and fire
Unknown (64)1979, Sverdlovsh, Russia, Weapons Lab, 64 died from exposure to Anthrax when someone forgot to install filter on exhaust
Unknown1979, Arizona State University organic extraction solvent fire kills graduate student in geochemist’s laboratory
Unknown1979, Washington State, High school student died when the nitroglycerine he had synthesized blew up in his pocket on the way to the football field
Unknown1978, College Park, MD, Baptist Community School, Custodian dies in closet making carbon dioxide “smoke” from dry ice for a Halloween party
Janet Parker1978, Medical School at Birmingham University (Britain), 40-year-old medical photographer from laboratory exposure to smallpox.
Unknown1977, Lab worker dies from exposure to herpes-B virus from Rhesus monkey
Unknown1976, Texas high school student dies of injuries sustained in alcohol fire.  He was trying to refill the lamp while it was still lit
Unknown1976, Arizona State University graduate student trapped in lab fire
Unknown1976, Enschede, Netherlands, Technische Hogeschool Twente, Organic chemist died of edema from methylfluorosulfate exposure.
Unknown1975, Westbrook, Maine, High school student electrocuted with 800-volt transformer
Unknown (14)1974, Brisbane, Australia, Thirteen children and the teacher were killed in the explosion when the teacher tried to demonstrate how to make a rocket engine
Unknown1974, Stanford University, Grad student killed from broken lid flying off vacuum desiccator
Shri Krishna Singh1972, Cambridge, MA, MIT grad student electrocuted working on live circuits
John Gallant1972, Westbrook, Maine, High school student electrocuted learning to use oscilloscope in physics class
Unknown (2)1972, New Haven, CT, Olin-Matheson, Solid propellant explosion kills two lab workers
Unknown (3)1971, Soviet Research Vessel, three lab technicians died from bio exposure
Unknown1971, University of Washington, Bagley Hall, Explosion and fire while pouring waste solvent kills P-Chem undergraduate.
Unknown1969, University of Washington, Sodium explosion in physical chemistry lab kills student
Ray Kemp1968-9, Columbus, OH, Ohio State University, Potassium cyanide poisoning
Unknown(Year unknown; before 1968) Biochemist was killed when his suction filter flask imploded.
Unknown1967, P-Chem undergrad died of burns sustained in an explosion and fire possibly caused by making cleaning solution with nitric instead of sulfuric acid
Unknown (7)1967, Marburg, Germany, Seven patients died from lab worker exposure to virus from infected Grivet monkeys from Uganda
Unknown1966, Port Evan, NY, Hercules Powder Company, chemist killed in explosion
Unknown1966, Selden, NY, Suffolk Community College, Lab instructor died from injuries sustained when he dropped a jar of sodium.  There was a fire and explosion.
Unknown1966, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University grad student killed when struck by unchained gas cylinder that falls, shears off valve and goes through cinderblock wall.
Unknown1966, Providence, RI, Brown University biology grad student electrocuted doing electrophoresis
Unknown1965, Wroclaw, Poland, Explosion kills chemistry department student at University of Poland.
Unknown1964, Western Australia, Palynolab Resources PTY ltd, lab technician dies from 70% HF exposure (here of 1994?)
Unknown1963, Alabama, Morton Thiokol, solid propellant explosion
Leo Guerin1959, Los Alamos National Lab, explosion killed 35 year old lab worker while drilling small holes into plastic explosive with a soldered hypodermic needle with a cutting tip.
Ray Means1959, Los Alamos National Lab, explosion killed 31 year old lab worker who was standing next to Leo Guerin.
Jose C. Cordova1959, Los Alamos National Lab, four workers died while preparing to burn 300 pounds of scraps and sawdust like explosive residue
Sevedeo Lujan1959, Los Alamos National Lab, four workers died while preparing to burn 300 pounds of scraps and sawdust like explosive residue
Escolastico Martinez1959, Los Alamos National Lab, four workers died while preparing to burn 300 pounds of scraps and sawdust like explosive residue
Leopoldo F. Pacheco1959, Los Alamos National Lab, four workers died while preparing to burn 300 pounds of scraps and sawdust like explosive residue
Cecil Kelley1958, Los Alamos National Laboratory, died as the result of a lab accident
Harlow Mork1958, Michigan State University, Grad student killed when distilling thiophene detonated in chemistry lab
Dr. Thomas Patterson1958, Woodstock, IL, Morton Salt. Killed in explosion handling glass flask that possibly had contained ether.
Dr. M.S.1957, National Viral laboratory, National Health and Welfare Canada, a 31 year-old male laboratory worker (Dr. M.S.) died from Herpes B infection.  He was engaged in the production of polio vaccine with Rhesus monkeys.  This case is reported in the Can. Med. Assoc. J. Vol. 79, Nov 1958.  
Candalario Esquibel1956, Los Alamos National Lab, 29 year old died instantly when 50 pounds of explosive detonated while he was scraping dried powder from oven trays to store in glass bottles.
Unknown1956, A research chemist’s unauthorized experiment exploded killing a colleague
Unknown (2)1955, Bayside, NY, Sylvania Electric Lab, Explosion killed two when a hot crucible fell into a barrel of thorium dust powder.
Unknown1954, Indian Harbor, Indiana, New employee killed trying to cut the top off a 55-gallon drum. It exploded.
Louis P. Slotin1946, University of Chicago Physics professor dies as result of an accident involving and radioactive materials
Harry K. Daghlian, Jr.1954, Los Alamos, NM, Physicist dies after accidental radiation exposure
Unknown (2)1950’s, Pittsburg, National Energy Technology, Laboratory hydrogen explosion kills two researchers.
Catherine Chamié1950, Paris. As a lab assistant to Marie Curie, she transported radioactive sources each day on a cart, shielded poorly by lead bricks. Died from exposure.
Peter Bragg1944, Philadelphia, PA, Naval Research Lab explosion releases radioactive, acidic, scalding steam and gas killing two Manhattan Project chemists.
Douglas Paul Meigs1944, Philadelphia, PA, Naval Research Lab explosion releases radioactive, acidic, scalding steam and gas killing two Manhattan Project chemists.
Sam Ruben1943, died due to a lab experiment at Univ. Cal/Berkeley.  Pioneer in the techniques leading up to the discovery of the first known “dark reaction” of photosynthesis, now known as the Calvin Cycle.
Unknown1940, Illinois, Graduate student killed in explosion of chemicals stored in a household refrigerator.
Marie Curie1934, Skłodowska eastern France, from aplastic anemia contracted from exposure to radiation.
Unknown1929, Hungary, Science teacher killed in demonstration involving potassium metal
UnknownWhen? A chemistry teacher dropped a piece of sodium in a fish tank.  The explosion killed one student
Unknown (168)1930-1978, 168 deaths from laboratory acquired infections (C.H. Collins, Laboratory Acquired Infections, Buttersworth, 1988)
William Eastman-Spandow1922. Columbia University, New York. Killed when an autoclave containing diphenylamine became overpressurized and exploded.
Unknown (12)1904-1935, twelve deaths of radiological pioneers resulted from their work with x-rays. Dally below was the first.
Clarence M. Dally1904, New Jersey, blower at Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park lab, is the first person known to have been killed by x-ray exposure.  Severely burned in 1896, he still works with x-rays until 1898.  His death in 1904 causes Edison to discontinue radiation work in his lab.
Unknown(Year unknown; before 1968) Biochemist was killed when his suction filter flask imploded.