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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Amazon workers in hospital after robot punctures a can of bear repellent 

Two dozen staff at New Jersey warehouse suffer breathing problems and burning in throats and eyes

Amazon warehouse workers reported difficulty breathing after the incident. REUTERS
Amazon warehouse workers reported difficulty breathing after the incident. REUTERS

About two dozen workers at an Amazon warehouse in the United States were taken to hospital after a robot punctured a can of bear repellent spray.

A further 30 workers were treated at the factory at the Robbinsville township in New Jersey, after dangerous fumes were released into the air.

The workers reported difficulty breathing or burning in their throats or eyes. Most of the people taken to hospital were released on the same day.

The 225-gram can of repellent reportedly contained concentrated capsaicin - which comes from chilli peppers - is similar to the “pepper spray” used for personal defence and by police forces in some countries.

Amazon said the safety of its workers was “top priority” and an investigation was underway.

“All employees in that area have been relocated to a safe place and employees experiencing symptoms are being treated onsite,” the company said in a statement.

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration said its investigation into the incident could take up to six months.

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