MEDIA RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: MARCH 22, 2021
AGENCY: SEDGWICK COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
LOCATION: WICHITA/SEDGWICK COUNTY, KANSAS
TELEPHONE: (316) 660-3800
CONTACT: LIEUTENANT BENJAMIN BLICK
This afternoon a county employee working in the Division of Finance retrieved mail addressed to their department on the first floor of the Sedgwick County Courthouse. She brought the mail to her workstation on the eighth floor of the courthouse and began opening it. When opening one of the parcels she noticed an odor and a powdery substance located in the envelope. Within a short time, the employee began to experience respiratory issues and skin irritation.
Once county personnel was notified, they called the Wichita Fire Department and shut down ventilation on the eighth floor of the courthouse. The employee experiencing respiratory issues was removed from the Finance office, decontaminated and transported to a local hospital for evaluation. Three additional Finance employees, two Courthouse police officers and two Sheriff Deputies were also decontaminated as a precaution.
The powdery substance in the envelope was identified as diaminotoluene by way of a Hazmat ID test.
The Sheriff’s Office contacted the FBI JTTF who responded. The Sheriff’s Office retained the parcel and is cooperating with the FBI in the investigation.
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