The nerve agent sarin was possibly detected at a Facebook mailing facility in Menlo Park, California, according to local fire officials in an NBC Bay Area report. Authorities advise, however, that this could be a false positive.
Officials with the Menlo Park Fire District said the social media giant processes its mail through a machine to detective harmful substances. A preliminary report suggested that at least two people might have been exposed, but authorities updated to say that no employees were affected.
The investigation is ongoing.
HAZMAT SITUATION AT FACEBOOK: Authorities are responding to a hazmat situation near Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA. A machine at the company’s mail facility detected the possible presence of sarin gas, local news outlets report. https://t.co/WQhr6Y7kh7
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 1, 2019
Menlo Park Fire Department confirms to me that a routine test detected presence of deadly poison sarin in a mailbag at a Facebook facility. No evidence of human exposure/symptoms, FBI is en route. Could be a false positive. https://t.co/MQSqvcJMOT
— Rob Price (@robaeprice) July 1, 2019
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes sarin as a clear, colorless, and tasteless liquid with no odor, but can evaporate into the air. Harmful symptoms emerge quickly:
- Symptoms likely will appear within a few seconds after exposure to the vapor form of sarin and within a few minutes to hours after exposure to the liquid form.
- Because it evaporates so quickly, sarin presents an immediate but short-lived threat.
[Screengrab via KPIX]