No Nerve Gas Found in JFK Airport Scare

Connor Simpson, The Atlantic Wire
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Connor Simpson, The Atlantic Wire
Aug. 12, 2013, 6:02 a.m.

NEW YORK — There was a brief scare Sunday af­ter­noon after two work­ers be­came sick after open­ing a pack­age in a mail­room at New York’s John F. Kennedy In­ter­na­tion­al Air­port. Ini­tial re­ports said the two men were ex­posed to a dan­ger­ous nerve gas, but thank­fully that wasn’t ac­tu­ally the case.

Two Cus­toms agents were forced to seek med­ic­al treat­ment and the air­port’s cent­ral mail fa­cil­ity was locked down by the Port Au­thor­ity of­fi­cials, with an as­sist from the FBI “out of an abund­ance of cau­tion,” Sunday after open­ing a pack­age from China. There was an ini­tial scare after ABC News and the New York Daily News re­por­ted the pack­age that caused two work­ers to get sick ini­tially tested pos­it­ive for a dan­ger­ous po­ten­tial weapon. “The pack­age from China tent­at­ively tested pos­it­ive for VX nerve gas, which can be used as a weapon of mass de­struc­tion, ac­cord­ing to a law en­force­ment source,” the Daily News re­por­ted, while ABC News was much more cau­tious: “Field tests showed an ini­tial find­ing of nerve gas, though au­thor­it­ies be­lieve it’s a low like­li­hood that it’s ac­tu­ally nerve gas,” they said. Ter­ri­fy­ing, right? Every­one’s still on edge be­cause of the ter­ror threat situ­ation, and this played right those fears.

But after the FBI per­formed more tests on the pack­age, ten­sion sub­sided when it was re­vealed there was no nerve gas at all. “There were ini­tial re­ports that the pack­age con­tained nerve gas, but of­fi­cials have said it’s un­likely that the sub­stance is the chem­ic­al weapon,” CBS New York re­ports. It turns out what made the two men sick was ac­tu­ally or­gan­o­phos­phate, an in­gredi­ent in soda pop. “Phos­phor­ic acid is a col­or­less li­quid with a syr­upy con­sist­ency used as an acid­i­fy­ing agent to give colas their fla­vor,” CNN ex­plains. News­day re­ports Port Au­thor­ity of­fi­cials dropped the pack­age in­to a 55 gal­lon drum, just to be safe.

The two men are fine and re­ceiv­ing treat­ment at Frank­lin Gen­er­al Hos­pit­al. The oth­er mail area em­ploy­ees are still be­ing screened by the au­thor­it­ies to make sure they wer­en’t in­fec­ted, too. Soda pop is still de­li­cious, nerve gas is still scary, and everything is al­right with the world. And the good news: the scare didn’t delay any flights.

Re­prin­ted with per­mis­sion from the At­lantic Wire. The ori­gin­al story can be found here.

What We're Following See More »
TWO MONTHS AFTER REFUSING AT CONVENTION
Cruz to Back Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST
WHO TO BELIEVE?
Two Polls for Clinton, One for Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST

With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:

  • An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clin­ton lead­ing Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary John­son at 7%.
  • A Mc­Clatchy-Mar­ist poll gave Clin­ton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way bal­lot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
  • Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
NO SURPRISE
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Source:
TRUMP NO HABLA ESPANOL
Trump Makes No Outreach to Spanish Speakers
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."

Source:
$1.16 MILLION
Clintons Buy the House Next Door in Chappaqua
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."

Source:
×