The Apple Store located inside the Del Monte Shopping Center in Monterey, California was evacuated Wednesday after Apple employees began feeling sick after handling a package delivered to the store.
Apple employees called 911 after “some employees began feeling dizzy and nauseous after handling a package,” according to CBS San Francisco, who confirmed the evacuation with Monterey Fire Chief Gaudenz Panholzer.
The Monterey Fire Department and the Monterey County regional hazardous materials team responded to the call and evacuated the Apple Store along with two additional stores inside the shopping center. An outside patio where shoppers could eat was also closed and evacuated, according to the report.
A total of four people were taken to the hospital from the scene of the incident, according to CBS San Francisco, though it’s not clear if those four people were Apple employees. An additional eight people were evacuated from the scene once the fire department and hazmat teams arrived.
Monterey Fire Chief Gaudenz Panholzer told CBS San Francisco that the investigation concluded that package in question was “contaminated in transit when an unknown substance most likely leaked onto the package’s exterior.”
The Apple Store was still closed down for the investigation at 2:40pm PT on Wednesday along with the two additional stores and patio, with the fire and hazmat teams “still investigating the incident,” according to the report.
The package, which was delivered via FedEx to the Apple Store, was determined to be contaminated with organic peroxide, according to The Monterey Herald, who also spoke with Fire Chief Panholzer. While organic peroxide is traditionally used as a disinfectant, Panholzer told The Monterey Herald that the clear substance could be toxic in high concentrations.
“Our immediate concern is for the well-being of those involved,” FedEx, who delivered the contaminated package, told The Monterey Herald in a statement. “We are cooperating with authorities investigating the cause of the incident.”
Business Insider has reached out to Apple and the Monterey Apple Store at the Del Monte Shopping Center to inquire if the store will re-open at its normal time of 10am PT. We have also reached out to the Monterey Fire Department regarding the ongoing investigation and will update this article when we hear back.