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Fla. Blast Injures Eight, Releases Gas

January 30, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A gas cylinder explosion released a small amount of radiation inside a building Monday, sending eight people to hospitals, officials said.

About 70 other people were being decontaminated as a precaution, but the health risks were believed to be minimal, said Jacksonville Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Bennie Seth.

Seth said the problem at Unison Industries was krypton gas, which is colorless and nontoxic. It wasn’t immediately clear what the krypton gas was used for, though radioactive krypton-85 is sometime used to detect leaks in sealed containers, with the escaping atoms detected because of their radiation.

Unison Industries makes alternators for turbine engines and ignition generators for Tomahawk cruise missiles, according to its Web site.

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