Researcher seriously injured in Hawaii lab explosion

HONOLULU (AP) — A 29-year-old visiting researcher was taken to a hospital with serious injuries after an explosion at a University of Hawaii laboratory.

Honolulu Emergency Medical Services spokeswoman Shayne Enright said Thursday the woman suffered burns on her face and serious injuries to her arm. She was taken to The Queen’s Medical Center in serious condition after the explosion early Wednesday evening.

No one else was hurt.

School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Dean Brian Taylor says the lab focuses on renewable energy and degradable bioplastics. He says the researcher was growing cells by feeding them a mixture of low-pressure hydrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen.

He says the same process has been used almost daily since the project began in 2008.

Honolulu Fire Department Capt. David Jenkins says the blast blew out interior walls, damaged ceiling tiles and equipment.