5 Released from Hospital Following Chlorine Leak at N.C. Apple Data Center


Five people were discharged from a hospital where they were sent after a chemicals leak at a large Apple data center in North Carolina Monday.

Emergency Management for Catawba County, North Carolina, says chlorine leaked in the building on Startown Road in Maiden.

Paramedics took five people to Catawba Valley Medical Center. They reported feeling dizzy and lightheaded from inhalation.

Hazmat crews entered the building late in the afternoon to investigate further and perform air quality tests. It has been deemed safe and cleanup crews followed.

Apple said the five workers were taken to the local hospital following possible exposure to fumes, “which may have been released during a spill of a chemical used to clean the cooling systems.”

All five were discharged and will return to work Tuesday, the company said in a statement. It said the spill poses no threat to anyone else at the facility.

Google, Facebook and Apple have data centers in North Carolina, benefiting from tax breaks, cheap and plentiful supplies of power, inexpensive land, and relatively temperate weather. The data centers are close to a major East Coast Internet pipeline that runs along Interstate 85.

Apple has pledged to invest $1 billion in the 183-acre data center over a decade, said the Charlotte Observer.

Apple’s Maiden location handles services such as iMessages, iTunes and photos. It runs entirely off renewable energy, a contrast with North Carolina’s heavy coal and nuclear power usage, using onsite bio-gas fuel cells and two 20-megawatt solar arrays, plus purchased renewable energy.

SOURCE: WCNC-Charlotte, N.C. / USA Today – Jonnelle Berry and Brett Molina

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