A worker at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey is in critical condition and another 54 required treatment after being exposed to bear repellent that discharged when a shipment fell off a shelf Wednesday morning inside the building, officials said.
A total of 80 workers at the Robbinsville distribution center were exposed to the bear repellent experienced difficulty breathing and burning in the throat and eyes, officials said. They were triaged by first responders outside the building and 54 required treatment, according to a Robbinsville spokesman John Nalbone. Twenty-four of those workers were taken to five local hospitals, Nalbone said. One worker is critical. Additional details on the other workers was not immediately available.
The discharge of the bear repellent around 8:45 a.m. was confined to the third floor in the south end of the sprawling warehouse, Nalbone said. The sprawling building, which has hundreds of workers during a normal shift, was not completely evacuated, Nalbone said.
Amazon confirmed the damaged can dispersed strong fumes in the contained area of the facility.
“The safety of our employees is our top priority, and as such, all employees in that area have been relocated to a safe place and employees experiencing symptoms are being treated onsite,” a company spokeswoman said. “As a precaution, some employees have been transported to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment.”
Robbinsville Fire Dept on scene at Amazon Warehouse on New Canton Way investigating “fumes” that have several employees complaining of illness. Fire Dept is attempting to isolate the source. EMTs are triaging multiple patients. 7 ambulances and a medic currently assigned— Robbinsville Fire (@IAFFLocal3786) December 5, 2018