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Ricin possibly found at Las Vegas motel; 7 people taken to hospitals, doing well

Ricin possibly found at Las Vegas motel; 7 people taken to hospitals, doing well

Preliminary tests indicate that a package found at a Las Vegas motel contained the toxin ricin and seven people have been taken to hospitals, authorities said.
Police were called to the Extended Stay America Motel on Thursday and retrieved a package from the motel manager, Officer Ramone Denby said.
Two preliminary tests indicate it contained ricin, he said. Results from further tests by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a second local lab are expected Friday, police said.
Ricin is made from the waste left over from processing castor beans, and can be extremely lethal. As little as 500 micrograms, or about the size of the head of a pin, can kill a human, according to the CDC.
Homeland Security officials joined local police in the investigation. Officials from the FBI, Las Vegas Health District, a hazardous materials team and the National Guard were also at the scene.
Officers cordoned off the area and isolated the room where the substance was found.
Three motel employees and another person were quarantined and decontaminated at the site, then taken to hospitals for further testing, Denby said. All appeared to be in good condition, he said. Three police officers who had been exposed were also taken to hospitals.
It takes between six and eight hours for someone exposed to ricin to show signs of contamination, Denby said.
A woman who answered the phone at the motel declined comment.


Updated : 2021-08-06 06:32 GMT+08:00