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miércoles, 28 de febrero de 2018

11 people mysteriously fall ill after opening suspicious letter at Fort Myer

In the last few weeks, there have been suspicious substances mailed to various political figures in the United States. For instance, a letter was sent to Donald Trump Jr.’s home in New York and was opened by his wife while she was at home with their children. Another letter was sent to President Obama’s office but was intercepted by Secret Service.

In both of those cases, the substances were benign, but now there’s been a real attack. In Fort Myer in Arlington, VA. Yesterday, a letter was opened at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall and at least 11 people began feeling sick.

What Happened?

Around 3:30 pm Tuesday afternoon, a letter arrived at the base staffed by both marines and civilians. It’s unclear as to whether the letter was opened in the base, but people in the area quickly started feeling ill. “Three individuals involved felt a burning sensation on their hands and face, and one experienced a nosebleed,” reports The Washington Examiner.

The Arlington Fire Department responded in short order.

They posted an update for local residents on Twitter:

Thankfully, those affected reacted intelligently and mitigated the situation. They evacuated the building and let the Hazmat team enter to deal with the letter and the substance.

CNN was the first to arrive on the scene:
“An envelope containing an unknown substance was received, today, aboard Joint Base Ft. Myer-Henderson Hall. Personnel in the affected building took immediate preventative measures by evacuating the building,” according to Maj. Brian Block, a US Marine Corps spokesperson.
“Base officials and are coordinating with local HAZMAT teams and FBI. Several Marines are receiving medical care as a result of this incident. No additional details are available at this time as the investigation is ongoing,” Block said.

Who Sent the Letter and Why?

The investigation is currently ongoing, but at the moment it is not known who sent the letter. There was, however, a message in the envelope.

“The law enforcement official said the text of the letter contained derogatory, at time unintelligible and ranting language, and was addressed to a commanding officer at the base. Investigators are still determining what relationship, if any, the sender had with the base,” reports CNN.

It is concerning that someone who was seemingly unable to write intelligibly, was also able to get their hands on a potentially toxic substance.

Time reports that “Initial field tests found that no known toxic substances were linked to the letter, but the FBI is reportedly taking the contents to its Quantico lab for further analysis.”

ABC News tweeted out the update:

In time the tests will demonstrate what, if anything, was in the envelope to cause the nearby employees to fall ill.

It is possible that the symptoms could have been psychosomatic, induced because they believed the envelope contained something dangerous.

Something similar happened with Donald Trump Jr’s wife when she received a suspicious letter and substance earlier this month.

This could be some angry personal dispute, or potentially some ideologically-motivated terrorist incident, but it’s just too early to tell.

It is good to know that no one has been seriously injured as of now, and hopefully, the worst is over.