Suspicious package at Facebook mailing facility tests negative

Authorities have confirmed that a suspicious package discovered Monday at a Facebook mailing facility in Menlo Park, California, has tested negative for “any possibly dangerous substance,” a Facebook representative said Tuesday.


Emergency hazmat crews spent a few hours at the mailing facility after a machine which will discover dangerous substances alerted workers Monday morning that a package would possibly contain the chemical nerve agent sarin, the Menlo Park fire District said.


No workers were ever exposed to the substance in question, consistent with the fire district. Four buildings within the area were evacuated; however the evacuation orders have since been lifted, in line with a Facebook representative.


After multiple agencies crafted a course of action, a hazmat team around 6 p.m. Monday entered the building where the package was, cleared all of the rooms and eventually tested the package, the fire district said. The team exited at about6:45 p.m. and was decontaminated.


Emergency hazmat crews are at a Facebook mailing facility in Menlo Park, California, when a machine alerted workers Monday that a package would possibly contain organophosphate nerve agent, hearth officers aforesaid. Ian Cull reports.


Later Monday night, throughout a second sweep of the building utilizing “more subtle detection instrumentation,” the hazmat team recovered the package, placed it in a mobile containment device and removed it from the building, consistent with the fire district. Test results for any dangerous substances later came back negative.


The Centers for disease manage and prevention defines sarin as a “human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent.” sarin was originally developed in 1938 in Germany as a pesticide. It’s a “clear, colorless, and tasteless liquid that has no odor in its pure form” and even a little drop on the skin will cause sweating and muscle twitching. Mildly exposed individuals sometimes recover fully, the CDC said.


Fire officials at first reported that a minimum of 2 individuals may have been presumably exposed to sarin.

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