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HAZMAT teams called to data centre in Canberra

Written by Tue 5 Feb 2019

A data centre in Canberra, Australia had to be temporarily quarantined after an unknown substance was detected onsite

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) fire and rescue were called to a data centre room at 51 Allara Street in Civic, Canberra at approximately 4.15pm AEDT, following reports of an unknown substance.

Workers in the data room, located in the central business district of Canberra, were isolated as a precaution and the local community cordoned off from the area around the facility.

ACT ambulances also attended the scene and HAZMAT crews called to the facility to conduct tests, but the substance was later found to be benign, reports the Canberra Times.

The scene was then handed to Worksafe ACT, the territory’s regulatory body for health and safety in the workplace. It has yet to disclose the identity of the unknown substance.

According to a local real estate firm, 51 Allara Street is an eight-level office block located in the centre of a major government office precinct that is home to the Australian Dept of Environment and an early learning centre.

In November 2008 one man died and six people were injured after 60 gas canisters exploded and destroyed part of the HSBC data centre building in Hertfordshire.

It’s not the first time something unexpected was discovered in a data centre. Last week, a video surfaced on Twitter of a deer that had broken through the wall of a data centre. The deer was unharmed and eventually guided out of the facility by law enforcement.

In 2015 farmers in Eching, north of Munich took a data centre to court following concerns that waste heat from the facility would kill the fish of a local farm’s springs. The complaint was later withdrawn.

In April, Microsoft announced the launch of two new Azure regions in Australia targeted towards government, financial services, and critical national infrastructure clients, based out of Canberra.

Written by Tue 5 Feb 2019


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