World

Facebook campus gets all-clear after nerve agent scare

Facebook's Silicon Valley campus receivea the all-clear after fears that a package at its mail facility contained the nerve agent sarin.

Experts find no trace of dangerous compound sarin after exhaustive testing

People have been allowed back into Facebook headquarters in California after exhaustive testing found no traces of the dangerous nerve agent sarin, which was feared to be on a package delivered to the company on Monday. (Ben Margot, File/Associated Press)

Facebook's Silicon Valley campus received the all-clear on Tuesday after fears that a package at its mail facility contained the nerve agent sarin.

Four of the social media company's buildings were evacuated on Monday and two people were checked for possible exposure to the compound that attacks the nervous system and can be fatal.

But exhaustive testing by fire and hazardous material teams found no toxic material, said Jon Johnston, fire marshal for the city of Menlo Park, Calif., where Facebook is based.

"There is no sarin," he told Reuters, referring to the package that had erroneously tested positive for the compound on Monday morning.

Facebook routinely checks all packages and had initiated a standard safety protocol, Johnston added, saying teams worked into the early hours of Tuesday to clear the scene.

FBI agents also went to the scene, Facebook said. A Facebook spokesman confirmed the all-clear on Tuesday.

"Authorities have confirmed test results were negative for any potentially dangerous substance and the buildings have been cleared for repopulation," said Anthony Harrison, Facebook's director of corporate media relations.

With 2.3 billion monthly active users worldwide and more than $55 billion US in revenue in 2018, Facebook faces criticism for its control of personal information and has been subject to cyber attacks.

In December, a bomb threat at its main campus in Menlo Park forced the evacuation of several buildings. No bomb was found.

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