Mystery Powder Causes 8 to Be Treated in Florida
- Mystery Powder Causes 8 to Be Treated in Hialeah
The Associated Press
Published: Oct 7, 2001
HIALEAH, Fla. (AP) - Eight people from two homes were hospitalized Sunday
after they received manila envelopes containing a mysterious white powder,
rescue officials said.
FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said preliminary tests on the powder
completed late Sunday show it does not contain any chemical or biological
toxins, but further tests will be conducted just to make sure.
It did not appear that the substance had hurt anyone seriously, and
authorities know of no connection between the two homes that received
The first envelope was discovered Saturday. Jacinto Perez, 72, was going
through his mail when he opened a business-size envelope containing the
He and the other occupants of his house - his sister-in-law Luz Digiana,
72, his 36-year-old daughter, Susy Larsh, and Gregoria Rodriguez, 70 -
originally did not think much about the substance, but their fears grew
overnight and they alerted authorities Sunday morning, Stark said.
Perez, Digiana and Larsh all developed low-grade fevers after arriving at
Palm Springs General Hospital, while it was determined Rodriguez had not
been exposed to the powder. All were examined and released later Sunday.
The FBI and a hazardous materials team from Hialeah Fire-Rescue quarantined
the one-story home, taking the mail and the clothing the occupants wore at
the time the envelope was opened, Stark said.
Also on Sunday about six blocks away, Pedro Rodriguez, 42, was throwing out
an unopened envelope when he heard a popping sound and saw a white powder
trickle out. He later felt a burning sensation on his arm.
Rodriguez and his wife, Maria, also 42, and their daughters, Mercedes, 18,
and Llanes, 14, were taken to North Shore Medical Center, where they were
under observation and in stable condition late Sunday.
Five rescue workers who treated the family were also taken to local
hospitals and, as a precaution, given antibiotics for bacterial infections,
including anthrax, Stark said. They were then released.
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