Facebook Mail Facility Evacuated After Report of Deadly Nerve Agent

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Photo: Jeff Chiu (AP)

A Facebook mailing facility in the company’s home city of Menlo Park, California has been evacuated following the reported detection of sarin—a powerful and deadly nerve agent.

Sarin, which is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, was reportedly detected by mail scanning machines in the facility. It’s believed no members of Facebook’s personnel were exposed. The possibility exists that the detection was a false positive, and an initial open air test suggest that to be the case.


The package was discovered around 11am local time, and four buildings were evacuated immediately. Only one—the mail sorting facility at 1195 Hamilton Court—remains closed off. According to the Los Angeles Times, FBI officials have arrived at the facility and will open an investigation if the package tests positive for sarin.

“At 11:00 AM PDT this morning, a package delivered to one of our mail rooms was deemed suspicious. We evacuated four buildings and are conducting a thorough investigation in coordination with local authorities,” Facebook spokesperson Anthony Harrison told Gizmodo. “Authorities have not yet identified the substance found. As of now, three of the evacuated 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.”


Update 7/2/19 8:28am ET: Facebook has since confirmed additional test results were negative and has cleared 1195 Hamilton Court for use.