Amazon Workers Hospitalised After Robot Unleashed Bear Spray
Two dozen employees were taken to hospital after a robot punctured a can of bear repellant at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey.
The third floor of the massive warehouse was evacuated on Wednesday as emergency crews were called in.
Fifty-four workers were treated, many experienced breathing problems, and stinging in their throat and eyes.
Of the 24 that were taken to hospital, one was in a critical condition.
An official investigation found that ”an automated machine accidentally punctured a nine-ounce bear repellent can, releasing concentrated Capsaican”.
It's not clear what caused the accident, Amazon is investigating.
Bear repellant spray is similar to pepper spray- both contain a chemical called oleoresin capsicum which is found in chilli peppers. It's meant to scare off the most aggressive of bears and has been deemed more effective than the use of a firearm.
READ MORE: Fattest Bear: Who Will Take Out The Title?
According to the Get Bear Smart Society, the non-lethal bear repellant causes "a nearly total, yet temporary, loss of sight and severe restriction of breathing" in bears and humans.
The good news is, all will be okay.
"All of the impacted employees have been or are expected to be released from hospital within the next 24 hours. The safety of our employees is always our top priority and a full investigation is already underway. We’d like to thank all of the first responders who helped with today’s incident,” Amazon said in a statement.