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Acid accident at Caltech lab injures one person

Approximate location of explosion shown in red

One person was exposed to hydrochloric acid at a Caltech lab Monday afternoon.

The incident took place at the Jorgenson Laboratory, according to Caltech spokesman Lawren Markle. The injured person is a member of the lab staff who was working in controlled conditions at a fume hood, a ventilation device designed to limit exposure to toxic materials, Markle said.

The incident occurred around 3 p.m. The victim was evaluated at the scene, according to Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian, and was later taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

Markle said it is standard practice at the university to call in firefighters anytime someone on campus is exposed to toxic materials, and then to send that person to the hospital for evaluation and treatment as necessary.

Markle declined to comment on the condition of the person exposed to the material. Hydrochloric acid is a corrosive mineral acid applied in numerous industrial and lab settings.


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Map: Approximate location of explosion shown in red. Credit: Google Maps

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