Sarin detected in package at Facebook mailing facility


Hazmat crews at the Facebook mailing facility on Monday. Photo from KTVU via CBS Newspath

MENLO PARK, Calif. (KRON/AP) – Menlo Park fire crews are responding to Facebook’s Menlo Park mailing facility Monday after a package tested positive for sarin.

A machine alerted employees that a package may possibly contain sarin, a highly toxic chemical that disrupts the functioning of the nervous system.

Employees were not exposed, according to authorities.

Menlo Park Fire Marshal Jon Johnston said nobody is showing symptoms of exposure and that the building is under quarantine. Johnston did not know how many people were evacuated.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says symptoms to sarin vapor exposure will likely appear within seconds. The CDC says people who are mildly exposed usually recover completely.

Facebook did not immediately respond to message for comment.

A Facebook spokesperson, Anthony Harrison, released this statement on the situation:

“At 11:00 AM PDT this morning, a package delivered to one of our mail rooms was deemed suspicious. We evacuated four buildings and are conducting a thorough investigation in coordination with local authorities. Authorities have not yet identified the substance found. As of now, three of the evacuated buildings have been cleared for repopulation. The safety of our employees is our top priority and we will share additional information when it is available.”

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