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Lockdown lifted at Benton County Jail after investigation of mysterious white powder

Lockdown lifted at Benton County Jail after investigation of mysterious white powder

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - [UPDATE, 5 p.m.] The lockdown at Benton County Jail is lifted after officials determined a white powder found in a package at the jail was not hazardous.

Deputies said the Tri-City Haz-Mat Team concluded tests on the package around 4:30 p.m.

Authorities have identified and contacted the person who sent the package, who identified the contents of the package which were verified by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Tri-City Hazmat Team.

Eight people that were transported to local area hospitals to be checked for medical issues have been medically cleared.

The Benton County Correctional Facility has resumed normal operations.

--End of Update--

The Benton County jail is currently on lockdown after investigators said a white powder was found in a medical package at the jail.

According to the Benton County Sheriff's Office, the package had been received at the jail around 12:20 p.m. Friday.

A nurse opened it at the medical area of the jail to discover the white, powdery substance that exited the package, possibly exposing eight people to the powder.

The sheriff's office requested the Kennewick Fire Department and Tri-City Haz-Mat respond to the situation as a precaution.

Deputies said the eight people who were in the medical area, which include six nurses, a Corrections Lieutenant and an inmate who was getting treatment were taken to area hospitals to be checked out for any medical issues.

BCSO investigators said there has not been any indication of symptoms from the powder.

The jail is on lockdown while the Haz-Mat Team works to determine if the white powder is hazardous.



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