5 taken to hospital from Apple data center

Five people were sent to the hospital following a chlorine leak at the Apple Data Center in Maiden.

MAIDEN, N.C. -- Five people were treated after a chemical leak at Apple's data center in Catawba County.

The initial call was made to crews around 2 p.m. Monday.

Emergency Management says chlorine leaked in the building on Startown Road in Maiden.

Paramedics took the five people to Catawba Valley Medical Center. They reported feeling dizzy and lightheaded from inhalation but will be okay. Apple says they'll return to work Tuesday.

"There was an unexpected release of a gaseous chemical that made them sick. Five people transported to Catawba Valley Medical Center. The last I heard, they were all in pretty good shape," the county's emergency manager Karyn Yaussy said.

Hazmat crews entered the building late in the afternoon to investigate further and perform air quality tests. It has been deemed safe and cleanup crews have contained the problem.

Apple issued a comment, saying:

Five workers at our Maiden data center 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. All five were discharged and will return to work tomorrow. The spill was quickly contained and poses no threat to anyone else at the facility."

Google, Facebook and Apple have data centers in North Carolina. In a previous NBC Charlotte interview with GigaOm writer Katie Feherenbacher, she told us these centers usually house stacks and stacks of servers with large amounts of data. Usually the ones closest to you geographically store your information. She said Apple's Maiden location is home to iCloud music data. These data centers use a great deal of energy. Apple's happens to sit next to a solar farm in Maiden and draws energy from there.


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