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Small explosion causes chaos at Florida A&M UniversityFebruary 04, 2016
By: Brianna Harmon and Lyric Porter
Flying sparks and a small explosion in the Presidential Dining Room caused about 30 faculty, staff and students flee from the area Thursday about 1:30 p.m. at Florida A&M University.
Patrons left purses, phones and other personal belongings after staff member Derek Mckinney who was washing dishes emerged from the kitchen and shouted “Run!”
Police cars and an ambulance rushed to the scene as a crowd gathered to see what had caused the chaos in the dining room which is open to the entire FAMU community.
Mckinney said that while he was washing dishes he heard a crackling noise coming from the dishwasher and saw sparks.
Jessie Small, a FAMU police officer, said the fire was put out quickly and the problem was handled well. He also said there was little to no damage but a couple of glasses were broken and “thankfully no injuries.”
Outside of the dining room students could see broken glass, spilled water and items belonging to people who were fleeing the scene. Some people never got more than a few bites to eat. There was only one single door from which patrons could exit the restaurant.
A person who works at the dining room made an observation that “this place is way too small for that many people.”
Many students were capturing the incident on video.
A student who tried to run got her arm caught in the single door. As everyone was trying to push through, she squeezed out.
The way everyone was running scared some students.
“I was confused when people started running,” said one student. “They ran into an office where I worked yelling “run and call the police.”
The presidential dining room is next door to the on-campus post office in the center of of the campus known as “the set.”
Contributing to this article were students from the JOU 2100 Class taught by Professor Michael Abrams. Contributors were Stacey Ragin, Sha’ Simon, Aaliyah Wilkerson, Cedrell Mitchell, Kiah Lewis, Davunda Watkins, Lyric Porter, Kwame Manu, Brandon Jones, Ebony Ivey, Dominic Hill, Amari Godwin, Alfonso Barber, Darrien Goins, Steven Byrd-Pitts, Hubert Campbell, Romani Poole, Cayla McBride, Destinee Mcghee,