Arizona prison workers exposed to 'unknown substance'

Firefighters say multiple Perryville prison workers and two inmates were hospitalized after being exposed to an "unknown substance" that was later deemed non-hazardous.

Authorities say the incident happened on Aug. 15 around 6:30 a.m. when a small bag filled with white powder was found in a transport vehicle at the prison's San Carlos unit.

"The unknown substance was handed to a Correctional Officer who then reported symptoms that included feeling dizzy and light-headed. Out of an abundance of caution, the officer was transported to a nearby hospital for a medical evaluation and has since been released," said Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry.

Hazmat crews from multiple agencies responded and treated a dozen staff members and two inmates before transporting them to a hospital. Before firefighters got to the scene, three workers had already been taken to a hospital.

"Crews took a sample to determine the nature of the substance on scene," the department said. "The substance was determined to be non-hazardous. A sample of the substance will be sent to state lab for further analysis by prison officials."

Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry on Tuesday night said everyone has been released from the hospital and are doing OK.

The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry is investigating the incident.

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