Facebook Evacuates Several Buildings After Possible Sarin Gas Exposure In Menlo Park

Facebook Evacuates Several Buildings After Possible Sarin Gas Exposure In Menlo Park

Authorities say two employees may have been exposed to sarin, after a machine created to detect harmful substances at a Facebook mailing center alerted employees to the presence of the lethal nerve agent.

Menlo Park Fire Marshal Jon Johnston told The Associated Press that incoming mail going through routine processing tested positive for sarin.

The mail sorting facility is in an industrial park at 1195 Hamilton Court in Menlo Park, south of the company's two adjacent main campus, the "old" campus referred to by employees as Facebook Classic, and the newer Buildings 20 and 26, designed by Frank Gehry. The Menlo Park Fire Protection District said it was called to the area shortly before 11 a.m. So far, no one was showing symptoms of exposure. No other injuries were reported. "As of now, three of the evacuated buildings have been cleared for repopulation".

"We evacuated four buildings and are conducting a thorough investigation in coordination with local authorities", a Facebook spokesman said in a statement, adding that the substance has not yet been identified. The facility is located a short distance from Facebook's corporate headquarters.

Sarin is a "human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent", according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC says people who are mildly exposed usually recover completely.

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