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Five hospitalised by chlorine gas leak at Apple data centre

North Carolina facility is crown jewel in Apple’s eco-friendly credentials

Data centres, Apple Incorporated

Five people are being treated in hospital for inhalation of chlorine gas after a leak at an Apple data centre in North Carolina, online media reported.

The Startown Road, Maiden, NC facility has been a source of pride for Apple when touting its eco-friendly credentials, as it is powered by solar energy and biogas from nearby landfills.

Reports say the leak may have come a cooling system or water-cleaning apparatus. Chlorine can remain in liquid form until it comes into contact with air, after which it becomes gaseous and extremely hazardous to the human respiratory system.

According to The Register, emergency crews were contacted at 2pm local time yesterday. News helicopters recorded paramedics giving oxygen masks to people at the scene.

Five people were moved to the nearby Catawba Valley Medical Center.

At 505,000 square feet, the Maiden data centre is Apple's largest on the US East Coast, and one of the largest in the world. The company made a pledge last year to invest over $1bn in the site over the next 10 years and plans to build a similarly sized second facility beside the existing one.