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article imageFive people injured in chlorine leak at Apple data centre

By James Walker     Jun 2, 2015 in Technology
A reported leak of chlorine gas at Apple's data centre in North Carolina has injured five people and led to evacuation by hazardous materials specialists. The cause of the incident is unknown and the workers were taken to hospital.
The Guardian reports that five workers were treated for dizziness and shortness of breath at the scene. They were given oxygen before being taken to a nearby hospital as a hazardous materials response team examined the data centre. The affected workers were later discharged.
Apple said in a statement: "Five workers at our Maiden data centre were taken to a local hospital following possible exposure to fumes, which may have been released during a spill of a chemical used to clean the cooling systems. The spill was quickly contained and poses no threat to anyone else at the facility."
Chlorine is used in data centres as a sterilising agent for the water that cools the racks of servers. It can evaporate in air to create chlorine gas however, which irritates the lungs and causes loss of breath.
The details of how the spillage occurred are currently unknown. Maiden is one of the largest data centres currently operated by Apple at 183 acres in size. It powers the company's cloud services including iTunes, iCloud and iMessage from a 50 megawatt sustainable solar power plant.
The issue is the second to occur at an Apple facility in recent weeks. As 9to5mac reports, a fire broke out at an Apple plant in Arizona last week that was acquired from the bankruptcy of sapphire display maker GTAdvanced. Apple is intending to convert that plant into a data centre too.
The chlorine leak at Maiden was reported at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time according to MacRumours. Crews remained at the centre for several hours before declaring the building safe to enter after conducting air quality tests and no outages of Apple services were reported.
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