MERIDEN — A man who walked into MidState Medical Center Friday night with a white powder substance that was later found to be baking soda will not face charges, according to police.
There was a three-hour lockdown at the hospital after a man entered the emergency room around 5:20 p.m. with what police described as a white powdery substance on him. He also had several packages of the substance in his pockets, Meriden Police Sgt. John Mennone said.
An investigation revealed that the substance was baking soda, Mennone said Saturday morning. The man was cooperative at the hospital and the baking soda was not used to threaten staff.
“Some of the nurses that were caring for this individual started becoming sick as well,” Mennone said. “They were experiencing nausea and some headaches.”
No other patients were affected in “any way, shape or form,” he said. All patients in the emergency room were moved to other parts of the hospital and all hospital entrances were closed during the incident. The hospital began re-accepting patients again late Friday night.
Hunter’s Ambulance Executive Vice President David Lowell said patients were diverted to hospitals in Southington and New Britain. Ambulances were also staged outside MidState to treat arriving patients.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded to the scene, as well as a bomb squad and the city fire department.