Posted: 5/16/2002 6:51:27 PM EDT
Several quarantined in Yonkers
(05/16/02) YONKERS - Mayor John Spencer stated that the situation is under control and that it is not an airborne contaminant.
Officials believe that cyanide gas or another poison may have been consumed by residents in a fourth floor apartment at 223 Nepperhan Avenue in Yonkers.
Several blocks in the area remain quarantined.
St. Joseph's Medical Center in Yonkers has been closed. The entire community surrounding 223 Nepperhan Avenue and Elm Street has been closed.
Two people, who aided the victims from the building, have been transported to the hospital for testing.
Two victims are said to be in serious condition and are on life support at St. Joseph's Hospital.
The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m
Stay tuned to News 12 Westchester for continuing live coverage and Chopper 12 footage.
[b][red][i]Libertas an Mortis!![/b][/red][/i]
Mexican officials find truck with deadly sodium cyanide
Thu May 16, 9:40 PM ET
MEXICO CITY - Mexican police Thursday found a stolen truck that was carrying 10 tons (nine metric tons) of sodium cyanide, but one drum containing the deadly chemical had been opened and most of the others were missing.
In a statement, the Environmental Ministry urged border agents to take extra precautions to ensure that large amounts of the chemical weren't smuggled out of the country. But officials called the alert "precautionary" and said there was no evidence any sodium cyanide had left Mexico.
Authorities cordoned off the area around where the truck was discovered, abandoned along a highway in Zacatlan, 120 miles (200 kilometers) northwest of Mexico City in central Puebla state.
One of the industrial barrels containing sodium cyanide had been partially opened and authorities briefly blocked off the highway in both directions as a precaution, said Frederico Perez, director of police in neighboring Hidalgo state. Health officials later found no evidence of contamination in the area, he said.
Only about half a ton, or 13 out of 96 drums, was still inside the truck and local authorities were investigating the whereabouts of the missing chemicals by interviewing people who live near where the truck was discovered.
No one has been arrested in connection with the truck robbery, which took place last Friday. Police were seeking information about three armed men who authorities believe stole the vehicle based on witness accounts, Perez said.
Sodium cyanide is used in gold and silver mining. If inhaled or ingested, it attacks the nervous system and can cause a person to suffocate within minutes.
Although most of the dangerous chemicals have not been accounted for, Perez said it was unlikely that the robbers would use them in any kind of terrorist attack here or in the United States.
Most likely, the men absconded with the drums without even realizing that dangerous chemicals were inside, Perez said. Truck robberies are common in Mexico, particularly in the region just north of the capital, Mexico City.
"The possibility of terrorism is minimal," he said. "Knowing how these robberies work, it's likely that the robbers didn't even know what was inside. They also probably wouldn't know how to use those chemicals."
The truck had left from Queretaro, a colonial city 115 miles (185 kilometers) north of Mexico City, and was headed to Pachuca, capital of Hidalgo state, 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of the capital.
Let's beat the Christmas rush and all start panicking now!
Somebody probably mixed ammonia and bleach again.
Doesn't cyanide poisoning exhibit symptoms that no other type of poison causes? I can't help but think that mentioning cyanide was nothing but a way to either A) sensationalize, or B) play off peoples' fears about the truck full of cyanide that was reportedly stolen. I'm leaning towards B, because ever since 9/11 the media has done everything it could to keep the American people afraid.
Looking for a causal relationship is futile unless you are the guy on the case. Just pay attention. That is all you can do.
Now let's not panic....Ok, now where did I put that extra case of SA surplus and my gas mask? Oh yeah...here it is under my tinfoil stash...lol. Seriously, kind of eery seeing this and the epidemic in the troops in Afghanistan. Not connected I'm sure, but makes ya sit up and take notice.
Regardless of what happens, don't panic! Use this as a wake-up to get your food, water and other stuff ready. Gas masks and other items might be good to have if in or near a city.
Look at all that has happened in the past week or so. Cyanide truck stolen, airport worker uniforms stolen in Kansas City, a story about 25 Islamic extremists getting into the country, the sickness in Afghanistan, as much as $500,000 worth of fertilizer stolen in FL over the past few months.....and now this! I think that screams that something else is about to happen. The media needs to start covering what is about to happen instead of crap that has already happened. Just shows you can't depend on them for info. At least not timely and in depth.
Sudden illness in apartment raises fears of chemical contamination
By JIM FITZGERALD - The Associated Press - 5/17/02 3:35 AM
YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) -- Six people became suddenly, violently ill in a Yonkers apartment, sparking a chemical-contamination scare that led to the evacuation of the building and the deployment of hazardous materials workers and anti-terrorist agents.
Two of the victims were in critical condition and four in stable condition early Friday, said Dr. Nicholas DeRobertis at St. Joseph's Medical Center. Mayor John Spencer said the critical patients were on life support.
The cause of their illness had not been pinned down and tests that might determine it would not be finished until much later Friday, said hospital spokeswoman Joan Dupay.
The hospital closed briefly when emergency room workers thought they might be getting sick as well. But tests showed no airborne contamination or contagion, Spencer said. He urged residents to be calm, saying, "It looks like everything is going to be all right."
The mayor said police were treating the outbreak as a crime and the New York City anti-terrorism task force was called in "due to the sensitivity of it and the times we live in." Neither he nor police Commissioner Charles Cola would discuss any evidence.
Spencer said the illness seemed to be caused by "some kind of poison," and cyanide was considered a possibility. Cola said the victims' conditions deteriorated very quickly, not typical for food poisoning victims, leading him to believe "it was some kind of chemical they ingested."
He said police were trying to find out "what food it was, how it got there and what was in it."
The victims, whose names were not made public, had eaten together in an apartment on the top floor of the building at 223 Nepperhan Ave., a few blocks from Yonkers City Hall and less than a mile north of the Bronx border. Other people in the apartment who had not eaten did not become ill, the mayor said.
As the victims were taken to the hospital by ambulance, police officers, firefighters and hazardous-materials teams surrounded the building and several helicopters idled above. Reporters were kept away but could see a worker in a white protective suit being hosed down outside the building.
Other residents of the 18-unit building, including several children, were taken to a nearby auditorium and tended by Red Cross workers. Officials said they did not know when the residents would be allowed back home.
Outside the hospital, Yonkers residents said they had been alarmed by early reports of a possible airborne poison.
"I didn't know how far away I should go," said Lawrence Kelly, 22. "They said it wasn't something you could see and so I didn't know which way to go."
Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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It was food poisoning, you idiots.
Put away your gas masks.