Suspicious Scott Air Force Base Parcel Investigated
August 31, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
MASCOUTAH, Ill., Aug. 31 (UPI) — Three people went to a hospital and 13 were decontaminated Wednesday after a suspicious package arrived at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, officials said.
The base’s post office and nearby buildings were evacuated after the package arrived at the base’s post office amid concerns about possible exposure to a chemical described as smelling like sulfur, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Col. Michael Hornitschek said the three people who had been at the post office of the Mascoutah-area base reported a rash, trouble breathing or both about 9 a.m. The airman and two civilians were treated and released.
They had reported the suspicious package to authorities, the Post-Dispatch said.
“There’s no threat to the local community,” Hornitschek said.
A fourth person reported respiratory problems but was examined at the based and not taken to a hospital, Hornitschek said.
The 13 others who may have been exposed were decontaminated at the base.
Hornitschek said the package has been “isolated.”
“We have eyes on it,” he said, without elaborating.
The FBI was helping investigate the incident, Hornitschek said.
From 12,000 to 14,000 military members and civilians work at the base, which never closed. Most buildings had reopened but the post office and a nearby Burger King remained closed, Hornitschek said.
“At this time, life and business continues as normal,” Hornitschek said.