Watch CBS News

Frederick Memorial Hospital Reopens After Hazmat Scare

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Authorities had to shut down a Maryland hospital after a potentially hazardous substance, found to be a "common chemical," burned the hands of two men.

Police say two men opened a package at a home on Military Road, and after opening it, they felt respiratory issues and suffered minor burns, so they went to the Frederick Memorial Hospital emergency room with the package.

"I opened it up, the envelope was filled with like a green, like green mold and I opened it up I started coughing and gagging and I started having allergic reactions," said Walter Collins.

"They got that package, opened it up, began to feel, as their description, was a little different, tingly if you will, and at that point they determined it was in their best interest to come to the hospital to be checked out," said Lt. Clark Pennington of the Frederick Police Department.

The entire ordeal forced officials to shut down parts of the hospital for about three hours and incoming patients had to be sent elsewhere until everything was all clear.

Patients and visitors who were already there were moved to another part of the hospital, and were able to leave.

"I think that they had it all under control and they had a great emergency response to it," Donald Toms said.

"You hear a certain amount of sirens, but when you hear over a lot of sirens, that's not normal," said neighbor Cheyanne Willis, who has lived around the corner from the hospital for nearly two decades.

She says never seen this many flashing lights.

"You see it on TV but you never think that it's gonna happen right where you live," she said.

Jay Zimmerman believes someone sent him the envelope on purpose.

"I'm still in shock, I'm still in shock. I just can't believe this happened today it's just happened so quick," Zimmerman said.

Police tested the contents of the envelope and said it was a "common household" chemical but they would not say exactly what it was.

Police are investigating if the men are victims of a crime.

Follow @CBSBaltimore on Twitter and like WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore on Facebook

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.