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'It Takes Just The Slightest Amount': Officer Recovering After Accidental Fentanyl Overdose

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (KDKA) -- An Ohio police officer nearly died after accidentally overdosing on fentanyl.  The officer used gloves and a mask while handling it at a crime scene, but a tiny bit left behind on his uniform was enough to almost cause his death.

East Liverpool Police Officer Chris Green was at the station when his partner pointed out he had a little fentanyl dust on his uniform, according to Police Chief John Lane.  Officer Green reacted quickly by brushing it off with his bare hand and that was enough to make him faint.

"One of the officers had to catch him.  He started collapsing," said Chief Lane. 

KDKA's Kym Gable Reports --

Paramedics were already at the station because one of the suspects was complaining of an asthma attack, according to Chief Lane.

"They were able to start working on Officer Green. They had to give him a dose of Narcan here.  They transported him to the hospital. They had to give him a few more doses and they were able to save his life," said Chief Lane.

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Police said Justin Buckel of East Liverpool and Cortez Collins of Cleveland were trying to destroy the fentanyl when police were pulling them over Friday night.  Officers said the men also lied and said it was cocaine. However, testing at the scene showed it was fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 100 times more powerful than morphine.

"This stuff is very dangerous. It takes just the slightest amount. Just like a little granule. Or it gets airborne, you inhale it. It could kill multiple people if it's in the air," said Chief Lane.  Both men are charged with tampering with evidence.  Police also said Collins was wanted in Cleveland for alleged possession of carfentanil and aggravated robbery.

Officer Green is recovering at home from the overdose, but still not feeling well.

"He's having trouble getting off the couch. Still has headaches and his chest is still hurting him. He just doesn't feel good at all," said Chief Lane.  Going forward, the Chief said his officers will no longer be testing drugs at crime scenes because the health risks are too great.

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