Monterey Apple Store evacuated after handling contaminated package

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The Del Monte Apple Store in Monterey, Calif., was evacuated on Wednesday after a dozen people in the store were nauseated by a chemical-contaminated package delivered by FedEx.

Around 12:50 p.m. Pacific, several workers from the Apple Store went to pick up a delivery near a Macy's Furniture Gallery, Monterey Fire Chief Gaundenz Panholzer told the Monterey Herald. The smell from the package soon began to make people feel sick, and four people — primarily Apple workers — were hospitalized. The Apple Store was closed and evacuated, but only as a precaution.

Once it was determined to be dangerous, the package was dropped into a dumpster near a P.F. Chang's. The restaurant's patio was closed, but the inside remained open. The parking lot near the Macy's Furniture Gallery was also blocked off.

Panholzer said that the package was ultimately found to have been contaminated by a clear liquid, organic peroxide, used by a regional FedEx distribution center. The chemical is a disinfectant and can be toxic in higher concentrations. In this incident, no one is thought to have become sick because of direct contact.

In a statement, FedEx said it was "cooperating with authorities" looking into the cause of the contamination. Panholzer noted that the truck that carried the Apple package made three more deliveries in Monterey before it could be stopped, although no other packages appear to have been splashed with organic peroxide.


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