HAZ-MAT Incident at Harford County Detention Center

[Bel Air, MD, October 13, 2011- 10:30pm] — At approximately 5:30pm on Thursday, October 13, 2011, members from the Harford County Sheriff's Office, Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company and the Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team responded to the Harford County Detention Center located at 1030 Rock Spring Road in Bel Air, MD for the report of an employee's exposure to an unknown substance while sorting incoming inmate mail.

The Harford County Detention Center employee indicated to her supervisor that she felt light headed and had a metallic taste in her mouth, after coming in contact with an unknown substance. Her symptoms were consistent with a narcotic exposure. Harford County Detention Center supervisors evacuated and quarantined the area involved, a mail room which is only accessible to staff. At no point were inmates or members of the public in any danger. The involved employee was assessed at the scene by HAZ-MAT and medics before being transported to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center for evaluation as a precautionary measure. As of 9:30pm this evening she is reported to be in stable condition.

The Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team sampled the involved area and determined that the substance was not biological in nature; however final results regarding the nature of the substance are still pending. A second contaminated letter was also involved and is believed to be narcotic in nature.

Harford County Sheriff's Office Special Investigation Division is conducting an investigation. The involved area was cleared by Harford County HAZ-MAT and shortly before 9:00 pm, it was determined that there was no bio-hazard reaction to the employee, so the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene also cleared the site returning control of the involved area back to Harford County Detention Center personnel.

News Release

October 13, 2011


  • Monica Worrell

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