Apple's North Carolina Data Center Suffers Chlorine Leak, Injures 5 People

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Apple's data center in Maiden, North Carolina has been affected by a chlorine leak that has injured at least five people, reports The Charlotte Observer. The leak was reported at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time and hazmat crews are said to be on site.

Little else is known about the leak, including its cause, but it follows a fire last week at Apple's former GT Advanced facility in Mesa, Arizona. The two-alarm fire was extinguished shortly after it began and it appeared to originate at the solar panels on the rooftop. No one was injured in that incident.

maidenncdatacenter
Apple's Maiden, North Carolina data center is the company's largest, at 183 acres. Its accompanying solar farm puts out more than 50 megawatts of power at peak efficiency, and Apple began expanding the data center in February of 2014.

Update: Apple has issued a statement explaining that five workers were taken to a local hospital in North Carolina after complaining of feeling dizzy and lightheaded following possible exposure to chlorine fumes. The leak "may have been released during a spill of a chemical used to clean the cooling systems."

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."

The five individuals have now been discharged from the hospital and will return to work on Tuesday. Hazmat crews have declared the building where the leak occurred safe following air quality tests.

Top Rated Comments

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68 months ago
I thought Tim Cook was doubling-down on leaks.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago

Why do they use chloride in the datacenter?

One chloride is used by McDonalds to make their fries taste better (natrium chloride aka table salt). But this was said to be a chlorine leak, not a chloride leak.

Chlorine is used to kill bacteria in water. If you have a data center with lots of water cooling then you probably don't want bacteria or algae in the cooling water, because eventually they will affect the pipes containing the water.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago
not a great week for apple.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago

Why is there chlorine gas at a data center?

Chlorine is used to keep the chilled water system clean. Most likely this was the source.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago
maybe they thought that putting a swimming pool inside a datacenter would prevent fires.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago

This is one reason why I wouldn't store Photos in iCloud.

Redundancy is built into any enterprise data center architecture. That data center could be completely destroyed, and users would suffer very little data loss, if any.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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