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New Jersey Amazon workers exit to hospital, pursued by bear repellent

Around 80 Amazon warehouse workers were evacuated after bear repellent went off at a New Jersey site.

by Emma Ockerman
Dec 5 2018, 4:37pm

About 80 Amazon warehouse workers in New Jersey are complaining of burning throats and eyes after an aerosol can of bear repellent — essentially a super-strong pepper spray — fell off a shelf and sent potent fumes spewing across the third floor of the Robbinsville facility.

Most of those affected were working on the south end of the warehouse’s third floor, according to a township spokesman, and the local fire department is still searching for the origin of the spray. The warehouse serves as a massive, 1.3 million-square-foot fulfillment center for Amazon orders.


“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 on site. Rachael Lighty, a spokeswoman for Amazon, wrote in an emailed statement. “As a precaution, some employees have been transported to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment. We appreciate the swift response of our local responders.”

So far, 17 Amazon workers have been transported to local hospitals, and more may be transported after evaluation, said John Nalbone, a spokesman for Robbinsville Township.

Cover image: SWANSEA, WALES - NOVEMBER 13: A general view inside the Amazon fulfillment centre as workers gear up for Black Friday and Christmas on November 13, 2018 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)