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UPDATE: HAZMAT called to Beloit office for a suspicious package

UPDATE: HAZMAT called to Beloit office for a suspicious package

The Beloit police department has ended its investigation into an envelope dropped off at a health clinic that prompted dozens to be quarantined and sent 15 people to the hospital as a precaution.

Capt. Vince Sciame says officials tested the envelope, bill, check and the desk it touched for dangerous residue but found nothing chemical or biological. He says there was a very small amount of whatever was inside.

Sciame says the man who dropped off his bill and payment Wednesday morning at the Beloit Area Community Health Center was forthcoming and says he didn't put anything else in the envelope.

Sciame says the state's crime lab is doing more tests. He says the investigation is considered closed pending those results. He says it's possible they will never know.

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Authorities remain mystified about what was in an envelope dropped off at a southern Wisconsin health clinic that prompted dozens of people to be quarantined.

Beloit Police Capt. Vince Sciame says tests Wednesday determined the powder in the envelope was not a biological or a chemical agent. But he says authorities don't know what the powder is, so it's being sent to the Wisconsin state crime lab for testing.

Sciame says police talked to the patient who delivered the envelope containing his bill payment to the Beloit Area Community Health Center on Wednesday morning. Sciame says the man says he didn't put any foreign substance in the envelope.

According to Sciame, the man is "dumbfounded'' by what happened.

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4/17 - 6:20pm

The Beloit Police Department says preliminary results show the tests are negative for both biological and chemical agents in the powder found in an envelope delivered to Beloit Community Health today.

Police say at this time the powder appears harmless, but they are not sure what it is. They will do more testing, which could take hours.

Police also say they have tracked down the man who delivered the envelope. They say he was very forthcoming, and he did not express any ill intent. Police say there is no indication that any charges will be filed.

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4/17 - 4:22pm

Release from the City of Beloit:

BELOIT HAZMAT RESPONSE UPDATE

This morning, the Beloit Fire Department was dispatched to Beloit Community Health located at 72 Eclipse Boulevard. The report indicated that three people were experiencing burning eyes after handling an envelope.

At 3:00 p.m., the Beloit Police Department, Beloit Fire Department, Beloit Public Works, Janesville Fire Department, Rock County Emergency Management, the FBI, and the 54th Civil Support Team were all on site.

At this time, fifteen people have been decontaminated on site. Of the fifteen, seven people were transported to Beloit Memorial Hospital and eight were transported Mercy Hospital for additional evaluation. This number includes two emergency responders, a three year old child, and two women who are pregnant. Some of the fifteen were transported as a precautionary measure and may not have had direct contact with the substance.

Fifty-six people are in the Beloit Community Health facility at this time. The 54th Civil Support Team intends to enter the facility before 4:00 p.m. and sample the unknown substance that was in the envelope. They will then test the substance in their mobile crime laboratory. The results of that test will determine the next steps

More information will be released as it becomes available.

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4/17 - 2:00pm

An official in Beloit says about 65 people have been quarantined after a suspicious envelope was delivered to a health clinic and at least 11 will be taken to a hospital.

Beth Jacobson is the assistant to the city manager of Beloit. She says a man hand-delivered an envelope containing powder to the Beloit Area Community Health Center on Wednesday morning. Employees called 911 after three people who handled the envelope experienced burning and discomfort in their eyes and noses.

Jacobson says a hazardous material team quarantined 60 to 65 patients and employees. Eleven people are being decontaminated on scene and will be transported to a hospital.

Jacobson says the state's 54th Civil Support Team will test the substance.

Authorities are trying to identify the man who delivered the envelope.

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1:00PM

At roughly 10:30 a.m., the Beloit Fire Department was dispatched to Beloit Community Health located at 72 Eclipse Boulevard. The initial report indicated that three people were experiencing burning eyes after handling an envelope.

The Police and Fire Departments are investigating the source of the contact.

Emergency and Public Wroks crews are on site with Hazmat response equipment.

Those experiencing side-effects will be decontaminated on site and transported to a local hospital if additional decontamination or evaluation is necessary.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

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11:13 a.m.

Rock C. Dispatch says Beloit Fire and Police have been sent to Eclipse Center at 10:20 a.m. for a report of a suspicious package.

This is being considered a HAZMAT call.

(Picture courtesy of NBC 15)

 

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