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There has been a gas leak at Intel’s plant in Chandler, Arizona, leaving at least 11 people hospitalized with nausea, breathing difficulties, and eye irritation, and a total of 43 that were ill enough to need on-scene treatment. Battalion Chief Tom Dwiggins of the local fire department identified the leak as nitrogen triflouride.

Intel shut down the tool that caused the leak, and there is no further danger, according to Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy. Further, the area neighborhoods were not affected, and the plant has resumed operations as normal. "They monitored the air inside and outside the structure and in all cases the air was clean," said Mulloy.

Intel's Chandler, AZ plant, where there was a nitrogen fluoride leak
Intel's Chandler, AZ campus

The Chandler plant employs about 11,000 people and houses two fabs that produce chips on the 14nm process. There’s also a $300 million, 285,000 square foot research facility being built on the site, and Intel is investing $5 billion to build a third fab at the location; construction on both is slated for completion later this year.

That's a nasty chemical and can cause the human who breathes it significant harm.

Search Google for: MSDS for Nitrogen Trifluoride and check out the damage it can do.



DANGER! High-pressure, oxidizing gas.

Acts on blood causing damage to central nervous system.

May cause kidney, liver, spleen, and other organ damage.

Possibly fatal even with adequate oxygen.

Symptoms may be delayed.

May cause eye irritation, possibly severe in high concentrations.

Vigorously accelerates combustion.

Self-contained breathing apparatus must be worn by rescue workers.

Under ambient conditions, this colorless gas has a mold-like odor.


I'm glad that I wasn't there when it happened.


Looks like Arizona is going to heat up a bit more, that's a greenhouse gas... Ah well, we used to test nukes there...


I hope that they made sure to inspect all the other tools of the same nature to ensure they don't start leaking soon as well.

Hopefully those intel workers get back to good health and receive some compensation for this. Nitrogen Trifluoride is a pretty nasty chemical from what RealNiel has explained


That's awful. I'm glad it wasn't worse. I don't remember hearing about it the local media. I pass by the plan all the time traveling the I-10 freeway.

And Chuck, I don't believe there has ever been nuke testing here in Arizona...ever.