Five people were reportedly injured at a large Apple data center where a chemical leak occurred, according to emergency responders.
Catawba County Emergency Medical Services said that two chemicals had been discovered, though they had not been identified. The chlorine leak accident occurred at one of the world’s largest data centers situated in a 183 acre area, according to a report in Charlotte Observer.
Multiple first responder units were sent out by Catawba Fire and Rescue dispatchers shortly after news of a chemical leak was received at around 2:30 EDT. Those injured, describing feeling lightheaded and dizzy, were taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center.
According to Apple Insider, it hasn’t been determined yet whether the victims suffered from inhalation of chlorine – used in Apple’s on-site cooling system to inhibit growth of fouling microorganisms – or physical exposure to a non gaseous form of the chemical.
Apple said the fumes “may have been released during a spill of a chemical used to clean the cooling systems.”
The company has pledged to invest $1 billion in the data center over the next decade.
According to USA Today, North Carolina is a hotspot for data centers of tech giants – including Google, Facebook and Apple – owing to its inexpensive land, an abundant supply of power and relative temperate weather. The companies also profit from tax breaks. Additionally, the data centers benefit from being near a major East Coast Internet pipeline along Interstate 85.
The injured were discharged and will return to work on Tuesday, Apple said.
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