UI report on explosion suggests changes to emergency management policies


Fire command responds to the April 14 explosion at the University of Idaho campus.

CODY COTTIER, Evergreen reporter

The University of Idaho released a report today on the explosion that injured four students on campus last month, recommending changes to the university’s safety and emergency response policies.

A task force composed of 12 UI employees created a list of 14 revisions, including risk management training for advisers of clubs that conduct potentially dangerous activities, to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future and to improve response if they do happen.

Some of the report’s recommendations aim at establishing a better framework for handling emergencies, as well as improving efficiency in alerting students and crisis communication. The task force submitted its report to university officials, and UI President Chuck Staben has approved it.

The report tasks several departments, including Student Affairs, Emergency Management and University Communications and Marketing, with reviewing and revising specific policies and procedures to implement the recommendations. The UI News release states those departments have begun work, and changes will be in place by fall.

Both law enforcement and the university ruled the explosion, which sent four students to the hospital with serious injuries on April 14, an accident. A UI News release states all four are expected to make a complete recovery, and the university is not currently considering any disciplinary action.

The students, members of the Northwest Organization of Rocket Engineers, were testing an experimental rocket in the parking lot of the UI Energy Plant when the rocket exploded.