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Five hospitalized after hazmat incident at Mountain View robotics company

Five people were hospitalized Thursday after a hazardous materials incident at a robotics company in Mountain View, fire department officials said.

Firefighters received a call at 12:41 p.m. reporting that an odor from a car was making people sick. They found people who reported feeling ill at two locations operated by the company Nuro: 1300 Terra Bella Ave. and nearby at 1340 W. Middlefield Road.

Witnesses and patients reported that a Toyota Prius was being charged in an enclosed space at the West Middlefield Road address when people said an odor was coming from the Prius' battery.

The smell was first reported to Nuro management at about 10:30 a.m. and the building was evacuated, the Prius was unplugged and the battery was removed from the vehicle, fire officials said.

The building was declared safe by management for re-entry after lunch, but some people reported symptoms of illness at about 12:30 p.m. and the fire department was called shortly afterward.

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The fire department's hazardous materials team conducted tests and quickly determined the building was safe for occupancy. Nevertheless, five Nuro employees were taken to hospitals while four others were evaluated but refused further care, fire officials said.

Mountain View fire spokesman Robert Maitland said crews could not determine what might have prompted the employees to feel ill.

Officials at Nuro were not immediately available to comment on the incident.

Officials at Nuro later said the Prius's battery overheated, creating the smell.

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Five hospitalized after hazmat incident at Mountain View robotics company

Uploaded: Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 3:51 pm
Updated: Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 7:55 pm

Five people were hospitalized Thursday after a hazardous materials incident at a robotics company in Mountain View, fire department officials said.

Firefighters received a call at 12:41 p.m. reporting that an odor from a car was making people sick. They found people who reported feeling ill at two locations operated by the company Nuro: 1300 Terra Bella Ave. and nearby at 1340 W. Middlefield Road.

Witnesses and patients reported that a Toyota Prius was being charged in an enclosed space at the West Middlefield Road address when people said an odor was coming from the Prius' battery.

The smell was first reported to Nuro management at about 10:30 a.m. and the building was evacuated, the Prius was unplugged and the battery was removed from the vehicle, fire officials said.

The building was declared safe by management for re-entry after lunch, but some people reported symptoms of illness at about 12:30 p.m. and the fire department was called shortly afterward.

The fire department's hazardous materials team conducted tests and quickly determined the building was safe for occupancy. Nevertheless, five Nuro employees were taken to hospitals while four others were evaluated but refused further care, fire officials said.

Mountain View fire spokesman Robert Maitland said crews could not determine what might have prompted the employees to feel ill.

Officials at Nuro were not immediately available to comment on the incident.

Officials at Nuro later said the Prius's battery overheated, creating the smell.

Comments

RoxieK
Slater
on Dec 13, 2019 at 4:07 pm
RoxieK, Slater
on Dec 13, 2019 at 4:07 pm
16 people like this

Misleading title to this article. Makes it sound as if the incident was the fault of the robotics company. A more accurate title, but perhaps not as eye catching, would have been "Prius Battery Overheats, Four People Sickened"


Jane S
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2019 at 7:44 pm
Jane S, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2019 at 7:44 pm
2 people like this

I don’t understand why if it was reported at 10 why they waited till 2+ hours later to call authorities. Batteries are no joke.


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