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Suspicious substance at IRS called non-hazardous

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FARR WEST -- A suspicious substance discovered at an Internal Revenue Service building in Farr West Monday morning severely disrupted operations, but turned out to be non-hazardous. That's what the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said after a hazmat response that lasted several hours.

The FBI has released very little information and no details on the substance. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service called it "non-hazardous," but two people left the building on stretchers.

A worker told KSL News the building went to "code yellow," and for the first time in his employment, they had to call in hazmat to resolve the incident. He said a "code yellow" means all employees must remain in the building because of possible contamination.

Shortly before noon, the FBI responded to the possible hazardous material threat at the IRS building at 1973 N. Rulon White Blvd. The Weber County Fire Department and the Weber County Sheriff's Office also responded. The FBI said it isolated the area and cleared out workers.

Holly Williams lives in the area and heard many sirens. She did not even know there was an IRS building in the industrial park.

"It's scary to know that we live that close, and it's maybe a target area," she said.

Chopper 5 shot video of emergency crews wheeling at least two people out of the building on stretchers, bundled up in protective bags.

In a statement Monday afternoon, the FBI said: "Some individuals did suffer medical emergencies which, at this time, do not appear to be related to this incident. The investigation continues and no further details can be released."

A county fire official said two people who already had medical issues happened to have episodes while crews were there.

An employee who did not want to be identified heard that at least three people had seizures. He said, one woman had a previous history of seizures; another did not. He said "code yellows" are uncommon, but in the past have been handled without outside help.

This incident happens less than two weeks after a man furious at the IRS crashed his small plane into an office building housing federal tax employees in Austin, Texas. That crash and fire killed one and injured dozens.

The worker told us about 300 people work in that area of the building receiving and processing mail for the IRS.

We have no updates on the people who were taken from the building.


Story compiled with contributions from Jed Boal and Jennifer Stagg.


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