Friday, September 2, 2011

Scott AFB

Officials are still trying to figure out why two US postal workers and an airman became sick while handling mail early Wednesday at Scott AFB, Ill. All three were sent to the hospital and later released after "experiencing adverse reactions to handling mail," according to a base release. Fourteen others were decontaminated on site. The postal center, education center, bowling alley, information tickets and tours office, and the airman family readiness center all were evacuated. As of Thursday afternoon, the postal center remained closed; however, officials had reopened the surrounded buildings. Bio-environmental specialists at Scott and explosive ordnance disposal technicians "found nothing of significance at the official mail center," although US postal inspectors continue to investigate. "Our personnel are safe and the buildings in which they work have been declared safe and we will proceed with normal business tomorrow," said base commander Col. Michael Hornitschek. He added, "We view this as an isolated incident that could have happened any particular day in any particular mail center" in the Air Force.

I was stationed at Scott AFB during the mid to late 80s. Even today, it still sits out in the middle of a corn field. Unlike say Andrews AFB (which is basically on the beltway in DC), the area around Scott is rural. The incident should serve as a reminder that incidents can occur anywhere.

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