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Two Hurt In Explosion At Agilent Technologies In Santa Rosa

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A sign marks the entrance to an Agilent Technologies campus (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A sign marks the entrance to an Agilent Technologies campus (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – A flash explosion inside the laboratory of a Santa Rosa company injured two people and forced the evacuation of the building.

Officials at Agilent Technologies, which makes scientific instruments, said that a buildup of phosphorus caused the blast on the bottom floor of Building One at the facility, located at 1400 Fountaingrove Parkway around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

An Agilent employee who was inside the lab at the time is being treated at the hospital for unknown injuries.

The man was cleaning a machine when there was a chemical flash, Agilent spokesman Jeff Weber said said. He said cleaning the machine generally involves wearing a protective body suit, but he did not know whether the man was wearing one Tuesday morning.

The woman, a contract employee from Volt, was injured when something fell and hit her on the head outside of the laboratory, he said.

As many as 100 people were evacuated from the building, while workers assessed the damage.

A Santa Rosa firefighter who was one of the first to respond to the incident was also injured and was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Fire Inspector Marita Petersen said. She did not know his condition.

About six engines from the Santa Rosa Fire Department were dispatched to the scene. Rincon Valley Fire Department offered mutual aid, with four fire engines, one truck and two chief officers.

Agilent’s own chemical emergency response team also responded.

No flames were found, but there was some damage to laboratory, Weber said.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation. There were about eight chemicals involved, Petersen said. She did not know what those chemicals were.

People working in the company’s other three buildings at the facility were unaffected.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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