portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

media criticism | political theory

Corporate Media Reporting "Sarin Gas" Attack At Facebook Office In Menlo Park, CA

The deadly poison sarin has been detected at a mail facility for Facebook in Menlo Park, California, prompting FBI involvement and reported evacuations.
 link to www.sfgate.com

Evacuations were ordered at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park Monday afternoon, according to reports.

NBC Bay Area reports at least two people at a Facebook mailing facility may have been exposed to sarin gas through a suspicious package. The victims aren't presenting signs of being poisoned, the Menlo Park Fire District told NBC.

A hazmat crew is on the scene investigating whether the package contained sarin.

A spokesperson from Facebook told KCBS Radio two buildings in the Willow Village neighborhood were evacuated; the number of people who have left the campus is unknown.

Sarin "is a human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent," according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Nerve agents are the most toxic and rapidly acting of the known chemical warfare agents."

SFGATE reached out to Facebook and the Menlo Park Fire District and will update the story as more details become available.


From a Bay AreaSMS Alert Text:

Facebook's Menlo Park HQ has been evacuated. Bay area media reporting at least two people being evaluated for possible exposure to sarin. Monitoring..

Supplemental Info:

Sarin is a human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent. Nerve agents are the most toxic and rapidly acting of the known chemical warfare agents. They are similar to certain kinds of insecticides (insect killers) called organophosphates in terms of how they work and what kind of harmful effects they cause. However, nerve agents are much more potent than organophosphate pesticides.

More from the CDC here:


Sarin 01.Jul.2019 13:19

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sarin (NATO designation GB [short for G-series, "B"]), is an extremely toxic synthetic organophosphorus compound. A colorless, odorless liquid, it is used as a chemical weapon due to its extreme potency as a nerve agent. Exposure is lethal even at very low concentrations, where death can occur within one to ten minutes after direct inhalation of a lethal dose, due to suffocation from lung muscle paralysis, unless antidotes are quickly administered.] People who absorb a non-lethal dose, but do not receive immediate medical treatment, may suffer permanent neurological damage.

Sarin is generally considered a weapon of mass destruction. Production and stockpiling of sarin was outlawed as of April 1997 by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, and it is classified as a Schedule 1 substance. In June 1994, the UN Special Commission on Iraqi Disarmament reported that it had destroyed Iraq's stockpiles of sarin.

Update "No one yet knows" if substance actually is sarin... 01.Jul.2019 15:02

The Verge

Some Facebook Menlo Park buildings evacuated after possible sarin exposure in mailing facility

It's unclear what the substance actually is at this point

By Makena Kelly@kellymakena Jul 1, 2019, 4:19pm EDT

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Several buildings at Facebook's Menlo Park campus have been evacuated after a machine at the company's mailing facility alerted employees that a package may contain sarin, a potentially deadly nerve agent, as first reported by NBC Bay Area. According to that report, no one has been exposed to the substance, whatever it may be.

"We evacuated four buildings and are conducting a thorough investigation in coordination with local authorities," Anthony Harrison, a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge. "As of now, three buildings have been cleared for repopulation. The safety of our employees is our top priority and we will share additional information when it is available."

Facebook routinely tests packages sent through its mailing facility for dangerous chemicals and substances, according to Business Insider. The mailbag that set off alarms is currently under quarantine. No one yet knows if the substance actually is sarin.

At 11 a.m. PDT, the package was delivered to Facebook and the company began evacuating some of the Menlo Park campus buildings. As of right now, no employees have exhibited symptoms of sarin poisoning, but two are currently being monitored by authorities, officials told Business Insider.