Report: ‘Suspicious Substance’ on Capitol Hill Sends 8 People to Hospital

• January 15, 2016 12:44 pm


Eight individuals were reportedly sent to the hospital Friday after exposure to a "suspicious substance" on Capitol Hill.

The Washington Post reported that the individuals, eight cafeteria employees at the Longworth House Office Building in the nation’s capital, were taken to hospitals for possible exposure to lead paint dust.

Friday morning, authorities discovered the possible release of lead paint dust in an area of the cafeteria, possibly the result of ongoing renovation work there. A spokesman for the D.C. Fire Department said that crews evaluated 10 individuals reporting minor symptoms and took eight to hospitals.

Roll Call reported earlier that 10 individuals were escorted out of the building Friday, at least two of them carried out on stretchers. The individuals reportedly had said they felt sick in the building’s cafeteria.

Capitol Police and its accompanying Hazardous Materials Response Team along with the D.C. Fire and EMS Department were on the scene.

The House Sergeant at Arms office said in a statement that the affected individuals were being examined for possible lead exposure. The cafeteria area was closed while officials investigated. The incident also temporarily shut down neighboring streets.

This post will be updated as further information becomes available.