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Substance that prompted Meriden hospital lockdown was baking soda

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MERIDEN — The white substance that prompted a three-hour lockdown at MidState Medical Center Friday night was  found to be baking soda, according to police.

Meriden Police Sgt. John Mennone said the hospital began accepting patients again last night and that he believes that the patient and three nurses affected “will be alright.”

At approximately 5:20 p.m. Friday, a man in his late 20s or early 30s entered the emergency room with what police described as a white powdery substance on him. He also had several packages of the substance in his pockets.

Further investigation revealed that substance was baking soda, Mennone said Saturday morning.

“Some of the nurses that were caring for this individual started becoming sick as well,” Mennone said. “They were experiencing nausea and some headaches as well.” 

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, police said.

Firefighters responded to the emergency room at about 6:45 p.m. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was also asked to come to the scene, as well as a bomb squad and the city fire department. The hospital re-opened around 9 p.m.

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.

Twitter: @leith_yessian


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