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Scientist dies in lab airlock

A microbiologist killed at CSIRO's animal diseases facility in Geelong had logged 15 years' experience with the unit, police said today.

Victoria Police said Set Van Nguyen, 44, appeared to have died yesterday morning after entering an airlock into a storage laboratory filled with nitrogen.

His body was found when his wife became worried after he failed to return from work.

Releasing his name today, police said Mr Nguyen had worked for CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) as a microbiologist for 15 years.

He was killed after entering a low temperature storage area where biological samples were kept.

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Police said he did not know the room was full of deadly gas which had leaked from a liquid nitrogen cooling system.

Unable to breathe, he collapsed and died.

Safety authorities are still investigating.

Mr Nguyen's death brings Victoria's workplace death toll to 29 this year.

AAP

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