First responders were called out to the Apple data center in Maiden, North Carolina after a gas leak was reported, and five people were taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center as a result of the incident. According to officials, the leak involved two different chemicals. The county responded by sending a hazmat team to learn more about what made them sick.
The chlorine gas incident at Apple data center
Chlorine is a sterilizing chemical that works as a liquid cooling agent for large computers and servers. Once the chemical becomes exposed to air, it evaporates and creates a gas. The gas attacks the lungs by reacting with water in the mucosal layers. It also creates hydrochloric acid, which causes fluid buildup in the lungs and subsequently suffocates the victim.
Apple released the following statement in regards to the matter:
“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 Cupertino-based tech giant also clarified that the leak was contained and no longer poses a danger to people inside the center. Employees with symptoms like shortness of breath and dizziness were treated.
Data centers with renewable energy
The data center is one of the many data centers in the United States, and it was designed to create renewable energy. The center is one of the largest data centers as it measures 183 acres. The center, currently used for handling iMessage, iCloud and iTunes data, is also currently being expanded. The five people who suffered injuries from the chlorine gas leak were released from the hospital and returned to work today.
Apple isn’t the only tech company to have data centers in North Carolina. Google and Facebook also operate similar centers in the state. North Carolina provides a great place to run data centers thanks to its inexpensive land and tax breaks.