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Tuesday, July 27, 2004
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Ohio University responds to Research Center incident

ATHENS, Ohio -- Following the evacuation of the Spencer Building on East State Street after an incident at the Ohio Coal Research Center, Ohio University will be in direct contact with other tenants to address their concerns and has permanently suspended all research activities and will close the center?s operations at that site.

On Monday, Aug. 23, the building was evacuated after heightened levels of carbon monoxide caused some tenants to complain of feeling ill. Indications are that the source of the difficulty was the Ohio Coal Research Center and an improperly adjusted research apparatus. The center is affiliated with the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University and conducts research to explore new technologies to utilize coal in the powering of fuel cells.

In the announcement made Saturday, Ohio University Interim Provost Kathy Krendl expressed concern for the well-being of all those in the building.

Said Krendl, ?We are working hard to establish contact with the tenants and through them reach out to the individuals who may have been affected most by the events of last Monday. We take seriously our obligation to provide these individuals with information and with a responsive approach that will satisfy their questions and concerns.?

Krendl also indicated the university is conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the exact cause and sequence of events leading up to Monday?s incident.

Other tenants in the building will receive information on Monday providing for an immediate process by which individuals may work with the university to gain more information and answers to their specific questions.

The research facility has been shut down and all activities suspended since the incident, and all equipment and research materials will be removed as soon as possible.

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Contact: Associate Vice President for University Communications and Marketing Hub Burton, (740) 593-2563

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