Suspicious package locks down ER on Saturday | News | The Press and Standard

by | October 24, 2016 8:20 am

A suspicious package, brought into the Emergency Department at Colleton Medical Center by a patient, triggered a HazMat response, closing the ED for over an hour Saturday evening Oct. 22.

The incident began just after 5 p.m., when two people went to the ED with complaints after opening a package received from overseas. They brought the package into the building with them.

Hospital staffed contained the package in the exam room and contacted 9-1-1. Firefighter-paramedics and the HazMat Team from Fire-Rescue, as well as Walterboro Police and Fire Departments, responded.

The east end of the hospital parking lot and building were closed, and some Emergency Department functions were shifted to the Care Unit in another section of the hospital so the ED could still operate and serve patients.

HazMat technicians wore level “B” encapsulated suits  to enter the building and examine the contents of the package. Crews used a HazMat ID and several other devices to check the material and determine it was not dangerous. The product proved to be non-hazardous.

One ambulance was diverted to Trident Medical Center during the incident. After an hour and a half, the hospital was cleared to resume normal operations.

Since the people live outside the city limits, the Sheriff’s Office investigators responded and took over the case. Postal inspectors are also involved in the investigation.

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