Bear Spray Sickens Workers At Amazon Warehouse In New Jersey

December 05, 2018 - 11:06 am

ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. (WCBS 880/AP) -- Several workers at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey have been sickened by fumes.

It appears a can of bear repellent was punctured by an automated machine sending an irritant known as capsaicin into the air at the warehouse in Robbinsville around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. The discharge was contained to the third floor of the building's south end.

Amazon issued a statement saying, “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."

Authorities say 24 workers were taken to hospitals for treatment, while about 30 others were treated on scene.

None of the injuries were considered serious. Most people were reporting difficulty breathing or burning in their throats.

Amazon said about 80 workers were moved to a different part of the complex. But the local fire department has since said the area is safe to enter again.

Hundreds of workers are normally inside the building during work days.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report)