HAZMAT call, 60 people contained in Beloit building - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

60-65 people contained in building at center of HAZMAT situation

BELOIT (WKOW) -- WKOW 27 News reporter Jennifer Kliese is at the scene of an ongoing HAZMAT situation in Beloit where Beloit Fire officials say 60-65 people are still in the building, waiting to be released.

Authorities at the scene say those waiting are patients and employees at the Beloit Area Community Health Center, which is in the Eclipse Center, formerly known as Beloit Plaza or Beloit Mall, is a mixed-use development along the Rock River in Beloit.

Authorities say seven people have been decontaminated at the building and taken to hospital for further testing & treatment, but that none of them are seriously hurt or ill.
 
The call came in around 10:30 Wednesday morning, that three people at the Health Center were complaining of irritation and burning eyes after handling an envelope. Authorities say those three are the only ones who came into direct contact with the envelope, though four others were treated were sent to a hospital, because their age or condition could make them more susceptible to any harmful substance. One is a three-year-old child, two are pregnant women and the fourth is an immuno-compromised employee.

Police do have a suspect in this case. The latest description is a white man in his 50's, with white hair and beard. He is described as skinny and wore a tan jacket.
 
Authorities say the suspect hand-delivered an envelope which employees assumed was a bill, but when opened was found to contain some sort of powder came out that irritated their eyes and skin.

Police say there are no other suspicious packages or envelopes in the area.
 
A state HAZMAT team from Madison was called to the scene.
 

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A hazardous materials(HAZMAT) team has been sent to the Beloit Area Community Health Center to investigate a white substance found on an envelope. 

The City of Beloit says three people were experiencing burning eyes after handling the envelope. Police and Fire departments are investigating the source of the contact. 

Those experiencing side-effects are being decontaminated on site and will be taken to a local hospital if additional decontamination or evaluation is necessary. 

The Beloit Fire Department tells 27 News it got the call around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday and crews were sent to 74 Eclipse Center to investigate. 

Emergency officials are asking people to stay away from the area until they can identify the substance. 

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