A suspicious powder in a package that was found on a street near McJunkin Redman Corp. in Nitro has been sent to the FBI for testing, Deputy Emergency Manager C.W. Sigman said.
An employee at McJunkin Redman was unwrapping some packages from Mexico just before 11 a.m. Monday when he began coughing and his eyes began watering, dispatchers said. The employee was exposed to a "white-yellow pollen substance."
After the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection was able to get a sample, they conducted some testing on site. The substance did not appear flammable or to be a biological threat, Sigman said.
Two employees were exposed to the substance and reporting breathing problems. They refused medical treatment and claimed they were OK after being exposed to fresh air, Sigman said. Medics also observed the workers to make sure they were in good condition. The two returned to work some time later.
Nitro firefighters were first on the scene, and Putnam County paramedics also responded. Dunbar firefighters and volunteers from West Side-St. Albans responded along with deputies from the Kanawha and Putnam sheriff's departments.
Roads had been reopened, and no one had been taken for treatment as of 3 p.m.
It will likely take a few days to receive the test results on the substance.