Crews respond to possible chemical contamination at hospital

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut emergency officials are responding to a possible chemical contamination at a hospital where a patient had a plastic bag with the words “sodium cyanide” written on it.

Sodium cyanide is a white powder that’s used commercially for fumigation, electroplating and chemical manufacturing. Exposure to it can be fatal.

Waterbury fire and emergency medical crews responded Friday to the American Electro Products company for a report of a person in medical distress.

A Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesman says the patient went into cardiac arrest and was transported to Waterbury Hospital, where the bag was found in the person’s pocket. Powder was visible on the patient’s clothing.

A hospital spokeswoman tells the Waterbury Republican-American an environmental contactor has been hired to decontaminate the emergency room. She says only the portion of the ER where the patient was treated was closed.

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