Senate Russell Office Building in DC Evacuted: Possible Chemical or Bio Agent

[UPDATE] 9 February 2006; 0545 AM ET]: According to a source close to the Capitol Police Haz-Mat unit all sampling of the suspected agent was negative.

A possible cause of False/Positive detector activation is suspected to be cleaning material. It was noted by the source that just about any cleaning agent with “a wintergreen base” would give a False/Positive for GA or GB Nerve Agent.

Read our reports directly from a Senate staffer as the event unfolded…

**[UPDATE 8 February 2006; 9:55 PM ET]: “All clear issued” as test results reportedly found no harmful agents.

[UPDATE 8 February 2006; 8:58 PM ET]: A staffer in the Russell Office Building provided the following information directly to the Northeast Intelligence Network:

- Alarm originated in attic sensor; a test was conducted that indicated a “positive result for foreign agent” IN ADDITION to initial alarm.

- Staffers were immediately moved to West Legislative Parking Garage by Capitol police.

- Evacuees received two different and conflicting briefings - one from Capitol Police, another from HAZMAT officials. There appeared to be an initial problem with “jurisdiction.”

- This alarm was handled “much differently” than previous alarms of similar types. Evacuees were told at one point that the sensor might have recorded “biological agent.” Names of all individuals in isolated containment area have been taken by authorities.

-Latest information suggests that all evacuees are expected to be released by 10:00 p.m., pending official results of tests being conducted off-premises.

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8 February 2006; 7:35 p.m ET: Detectors have been activated - two-(2) “POSITIVE HITS” for “undefined chemical agent…”

Confirming test underway - results expected in 30 minutes.

Northeast Intelligence Network investigator Doug Hagmann is currently talking with a staffer being kept in quarantine in a “safe zone” due to this ‘HAZMAT” alarm.

According to staffer:

No one is showing physical symptoms;
EMS Teams response described as uncharacteristically “intense;”
Treatment area “set-up” in garage area;
One responding officer indicated third test underway, second test was actually “inconclusive.”
Alarms have gone off before, but this level of response was never seen to-date.