A rotor on a Fisher Micro 16 microfuge exploded. No one was hurt. The outer shell of the centrifuge did not contain the explosion and fragments of the rotor sprayed all over the area. The entire front of the centrifuge was blown off. It passed from one bay in the lab to the adjacent bay, smashing bottles as it went. The front narrowly missed hitting a technician's head.
Another technician who had her back turned to the centrifuge felt fragments of the rotor spraying her back.
The centrifuge was purchased in October 1996. Fisher takes this event very seriously and has issued a recall notice for Micro 16, Micro 14 and Micro 13 units. The centrifuges involved are several years older and the serial number must begin with the letter M.
The manufacturer of the centrifuge, Denver Instruments, stopped making these units years ago. There have been several recalls of the centrifuge in the past, including one to ensure that the cover of the spin chamber clamps shut securely. The centrifuge that blew had the recall repairs.
Rotors must be periodically inspected for wear and damage.