Hazmat crews set up at Facebook for possible Sarin threat


Firefighters with hazardous materials training are setting up at Facebook’s shipping and receiving building in Menlo Park after crews operating a security machine detected the possible presence of a chemical weapon.

Menlo Park Fire Protection District Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said around noon on Monday that the hazmat protocol had been activated, and a team was setting up at one of Facebook’s facilities on Hamilton Avenue.

Media reports have indicated that possible exposures have occurred, but Schapelhouman stressed that no injuries had been reported as of noontime.

There were two positive tests and one negative test, so emergency crews are taking all necessary safety precautions.

Sarin gas is a clear, colorless nerve agent with no taste or odor that can occur in liquid or vapor form, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Exposure is possible through skin or eye contact, as well as inhalation. For more information, people can go to https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/sarin/basics/facts.asp.

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