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Federal agency probing accident that sickened Amazon workers

ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. (AP) — Federal officials will review an accident in which an automated machine punctured a can of bear repellent at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey, releasing fumes that sickened workers and sent two dozen to hospitals.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s investigation into Wednesday’s accident could take up to six months to complete.

Twenty-four of the workers were taken to hospitals, where most were treated and released later Wednesday. One woman who had been in critical condition was expected to be released Thursday.

About 30 other workers were treated at the warehouse in Robbinsville. Most reported difficulty breathing or burning in their throats or eyes.

Officials say the machine damaged the can containing a concentrated amount of capsaicin, an active component of chili peppers. The fumes were contained in one part of the building.

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