back to article Chlorine gas horror leak at Apple data center puts five in hospital

A chlorine gas leak at an Apple data center has landed five people in hospital. Emergency crews received a call about 2pm local time from the Apple facility on Startown Road, in Maiden, North Carolina. Local news helicopters captured footage of people being given medical attention and oxygen masks outside the facility. The …

  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Chlorine gas?

    Probably a hit by Assad. Bomb Syria now!

  2. Tomislav

    I would guess a local BOFH with a reduced beer... er... I mean IT budget might be to blame. :)

  3. LaeMing

    Just sayin...

    Fruit releases all kinds of noxious chemicals when it goes bad!

  4. MrDamage Silver badge


    You're breathing it wrong.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge


    ...yes, that's green.

    Mine's the one with assorted halogens in the pocket.

  6. Turtle


    That woman on the right, next to the fire truck, in the black pants and white blouse - you see her, right? She's posting photos on her Facebook page.

    1. Your alien overlord - fear me
      Thumb Up

      Re: Posting.

      And the bloke in the blue vest is staring at her Bulgarian airbags.

      1. LaeMing

        Re: Posting.

        Either that, or they are both furiously watching the LCD screen on a noxious gas detecter.

  7. Eddy Ito

    I'll guess it was chlorine dioxide that decomposed. It's a pretty common treatment for keeping cooling towers clean and for drinking water. The downside is that once out of solution it doesn't take much for it to decompose so it's likely it was a relatively concentrated store as the it only takes a very little to be effective.

    1. Alan J. Wylie

      Chlorine dioxide is used to kill Legionella bacteria, responsible for Legionnaires’ disease

    2. wayward4now

      t's likely it was a relatively concentrated store as the it only takes a very little to be effective."

      At the water treatment plant that I worked at, we received concentrated chlorine solution, pumped into holding tanks stored outside within a chainlink area, where is was diluted to 5% in order not to be considered a hazardous material. It was effective and relatively safe then. Plus, when properly diluted, it tends to gas less.

  8. Breen Whitman

    Oh no, they use that to gas Android app developers that they manage to kidnap.

    (Only way Apple will make a dent in the Android Juggernaut)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quart in a pint pot

    How do you fit 200 acres of solar panels on a 183-acre site? Is it because of the tilt of the panels?

    1. James 51

      Re: Quart in a pint pot

      Could stack them but that could cause issues with shading other panels.

    2. Slacker@work

      Re: Quart in a pint pot

      parabolic dishes maybe? The surface area would be much larger than the footprint...

    3. adnim

      Re: Quart in a pint pot

      in an excited Homer Simpson voice....

      "Because this is magical, fairy Apple-land"

    4. Nigel 11

      Re: Quart in a pint pot

      Is it because of the tilt of the panels?

      Depends on whether "area" includes inactive area, i.e panel edges, support frames. If it does, then an inclination angle of arccos( 183/200) or greater would make sense of this. That's about 25 degrees.

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: Quart in a pint pot

        From Google's skynet pics it looks like the solar array is actually across the street. At the moment it looks like the images are being updated because the landscape changes radically depending on zoom level. Bing maps knows nothing about it.

  10. TRT Silver badge

    I hope

    that people recover. It's really, really nasty. One of the nastiest things that happen really, fluorine being worse. Sitting in an office or a tech centre, one could forget the more industrial and dangerous aspects of IT.

    1. Riku

      Re: I hope

      "Worse" is an understatement, flourine is the Devil's own gas. One of the most insanely vicious substances, after astatine that is, vicious *and* radioactive.

    2. squigbobble

      Re: I hope

      Add gaseous ammonia to that list; as soon as it touches a wet part of you it hydrolyses to ammonium hydroxide. It'll kill you in under a minute by stripping the flesh out of your lungs. It's also a lot easier to get hold of and store than fluorine.

      Then there's NOx where you can get a fatal exposure and not even notice till 8 hours afterwards.

  11. wolfetone Silver badge

    Could've been averted if they wore Apple Watches alerting them to their lowering heart rates BEFORE it was reduced to taking a reading every 10 minutes.

  12. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    The site has been used by Apple to highlight its green credentials:

    And what colour is Chlorine?

  13. x 7

    Probably find it was just a stupid mistake by a cleaner mixing two different takes little to create chlorine gas that way.

    I feel pity for those involved....... I know just how bad it feels. I got a lung full of pure chlorine 40 years ago (a gas jar broke) and my breathing is still not right now. It really does hurt when it happens.

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