Marines Released from Hospital after HAZMAT Incident at Joint Base Myer

Engine 161’s crew evacuated and decontaminated 11 patients from the hazard area. Three were transported to an area hospital. Fort Myer Fire Department via Twitter
Engine 161’s crew evacuated and decontaminated 11 patients from the hazard area. Three were transported to an area hospital. Fort Myer Fire Department via Twitter

Three Marines have been sent home after a brief hospital stay following the discovery of an envelope containing an unknown substance at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

In all, 11 people reported symptoms of illness after the envelope was opened on the Marine Corps side of the Northern Virginia base around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. The three Marines, who have not been identified, were transported to the hospital for further examination.

Lindsey Mastis, an anchor for the local News Channel 8, Tweeted that a corporal, gunnery sergeant and colonel reported symptoms including burning hands and face, and one individual experienced a nosebleed. That account has not been confirmed by officials.

The Marines were released around 10 p.m. Tuesday night, base officials said in a news release.

The joint base borders Arlington Cemetery and overlooks the Pentagon. It's home to a number of military ceremonial units and the U.S. Army Band.

According to Marine officials and emergency responders, the building was evacuated immediately after the envelope was discovered. HAZMAT procedures were initiated, and all 11 people participated in a decontamination process. The building itself was screened and cleared.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service is working with the FBI to investigate the incident, joint base officials said.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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