Facebook evacuates four buildings after possible sarin exposure

A package at the social media company's Silicon Valley mail facility has tested positive for the toxic compound.

By REUTERS
July 2, 2019 02:38
1 minute read.
A Facebook address sign is seen at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California

A Facebook address sign is seen at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. (photo credit: ELIJAH NOUVELAGE / REUTERS)

SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc evacuated four buildings and two people were being evaluated for possible exposure to the nerve agent sarin on Monday after a package at the social media company's Silicon Valley mail facility tested positive for the toxic compound.

The people who came in contact with the suspicious package at about 11 a.m. did not show any symptoms of exposure to sarin, said Jon Johnston, fire marshal for the city of Menlo Park, where Facebook is based.

"The (Facebook) facility tests all of the packages that come in and they had a positive test, so they just initiated their standard protocol. Now we're just waiting to verify whether that’s true or not," he said.

Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison said the company evacuated four buildings following the positive test and was cooperating with police in the investigation.

"Authorities have not yet identified the substance found. As of now, three of the evacuated buildings have been cleared for repopulation," Harrison said.

Agents from the San Francisco office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation were responding to the scene, a spokesman for the agency said. Sarin, a potent toxic compound that disrupts the nervous system, has been used as a chemical weapon. Exposure can be fatal.


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