Explosion at Langford Hall sends student to hospital

An explosion was reported in Langford residence hall on the third floor at approximately 7 p.m. on the evening on Dec. 4. The explosion sent one student to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. Another student sustained injuries but did not accept medical transport.

Bozeman Fire Department Battalion Chief John Bos said that the explosion caused significant structural damage to three rooms, making the rooms uninhabitable. There is substantial water damage in the affected wing of the third floor and there has been slight water damage to four rooms on levels one and two of the residence hall, Bos said.

Executive Director of University Communications Tracy Ellig reported that the students had been experimenting with flammable Freeze It Chewing Gum remover, spraying it around their dorm room. A student then sparked a Bic lighter, triggering the explosion. Second degree burns covered over 50 percent of the student’s body, Ellig reported. The student is in stable condition.

Ellig said they will find alternative housing for the students whose rooms were affected by the explosion, but there is no estimate on when the rooms will be habitable.

MSU Police Sergeant Matt Wemple reported earlier that “the explosion blew walls out facing east and west, on one side blowing out the cinder block and affecting the drywall on the other side.” The walls affected were not weight bearing.

Tammie Brown, chief housing officer, spoke to the students who have been affected by the explosion. Students were instructed to check their room for damage, taking photographs to document damage and retrieving valuables and necessities. Residents who did not have their rooms directly affected were allowed back into the hall around 9:45 p.m.