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Two injured in San Francisco biotech plant explosion

10 January 2014

CBS quoted South San Francisco Fire Marshal Luis De Silva as saying that some cleaning solvents used to sterilise equipment caused a chemical reaction that spawned a flash fire. He said the building was evacuated as a precaution.

The flash fire in a liquids cabinet on the third floor blew out a number of windows on one of the floors of the building, according to fire officials.  One worker suffered serious facial injuries and the other suffered injuries to one or both hands. Both workers were hospitalized.

Da Silva said it was determined that no chemicals were released into the atmosphere and that there was no public health concern.

It is the second explosion at the facility in a year. Last May, one person was hurt in an explosion that led to a citation against the company. In that incident, a worker was collecting hazardous materials when a flash fire ignited, seriously burning the worker.

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