HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Local and federal authorities are investigating after two employees were exposed to an unknown white powder sent to Holyoke Medical Center, prompting an evacuation Monday afternoon.
Captain Kevin Cavagnac of the Holyoke Fire Department said police requested crews at the hospital located at 575 Beech Street around 12 p.m. to investigate the unknown chemical that was mailed to the hospital in an envelope.
Two administrative staff members were exposed to the unknown white powder when a small amount fell out of the envelope as it was opened. The staff members, per the hospital’s emergency plan, isolated the envelope in the office, alerted security, other staffers, and immediately decontaminated themselves, Capt. Cavagnac said.
The Holyoke Police Department immediately evacuated the area. The regional hazmat team was also called to help identify and mitigate the unknown white powder.
The two staff members were observed in the emergency room and are expected to be okay after the hazmat team determined the white chemical was non-hazardous.
The Holyoke Police Department, along with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force are investigating the identity and intentions of the individual who sent the white powder.