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One dead in explosion on Willow Road

Twenty-three evacuated from Membrane Technology

One person was killed and another injured in an explosion at Membrane Technology & Research Inc. at 1360 Willow Road in Menlo Park on Friday afternoon, fire officials said.

The San Mateo County Coroner on Sunday identified the victim as Adrian Martin, 56, of San Jose.

Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District said a scientist in a laboratory at the company was transferring methane when the blast occurred.

A woman standing near the door of the lab was thrown clear and survived with only some damage to her eardrum, but the man handling the methane was killed in the blast, Chief Schapelhouman said.

The identifies of the deceased and injured persons have not been disclosed.

There was no fire, and the explosion was contained within the building, located in a business park, said Chief Schapelhouman. There is no danger to the community, he added.

Twenty-three people were evacuated after the explosion, which occurred at about 4 p.m.

The county hazmat team is in charge, he said.

Membrane Technology is involved in the separation of industrial petrochemicals., Chief Schapelhouman said.

According to reporters on the scene, employees in lab coats were changing clothes at 5 p.m., apparently due to some sort of contamination, but were unwilling to offer any details.

A woman who apparently had toxins on her clothes was taken away in an ambulance.

Membrane Technology recently received a $3 million federal grant to do carbon-capture research.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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