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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Smoke causes evacuation of Boston Medical lab

By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff

A plastic container in a laboratory at Boston Medical Center caught fire late this morning, resulting in smoke but no injuries or damage, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The container, carrying a salt solution, was being used by researchers in an endocrinology lab on the second floor of the building at 670 Albany St., said Maria Pantages, a Boston Medical spokeswoman. The researchers said they believed they had put the container into a machine that would spin its contents, Pantages said. Instead, the device was both a spinner and a hot plate, and about 11:45 a.m., researchers smelled smoke.

The building was evacuated as a precaution and emergency units summoned. Within 45 minutes, she said, the building's occupants were allowed to return.

In March, smoldering medical waste caught fire in a sterilizing machine in a lab at the Boston University School of Medicine. The BU medical school and Boston Medical Center are affiliated institutions.

Posted by Karen Weintraub at 04:13 PM
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