Pepper Spray Sends Eight People To Hospital

By Heather Haley | 

Business came to a halt Monday afternoon at a call center in Magoffin County after a man allegedly sprayed pepper spray inside causing the building to be evacuated for several hours.

Officials say around three Monday afternoon, they received a call that employees at Influent Telecommunications were being evacuated after pepper spray spread through the building sending several employees to the hospital.

"He took the pepper spray, sprayed towards the door, which was cracked open and sprayed twice," said Axel Simonetti with the Magoffin County Sheriff's Department.

More than 50 employees at Influent Telecommunications in Salyersville were evacuated after officials say a male supervisor took a female employees pepper spray and used it.

"Anytime that you have an odd odor or smell get in the open air, don't stay inside the building or any facility," said Salyersville Fire Chief Paul Howard.

Officials say the spray was disbursed throughout the nearly 6,000 square foot building through the air conditioning system sending 8 employees to the hospital.

"Some people started displaying skin irritation, they started coughing and most of the people that went to the hospital are asthmatic," Simonetti said.

Officials say employees were allowed to go back to work after an all clear was given.

Officials say the man was fired from his job after the incident, but they're still not sure why he did it.

"The case is still under investigation and some criminal charges may arise as a result of the investigation," Simonetti said.

Officials with Influent Telecommunications did not want to go on camera. Sheriff's department officials say out of the eight employees sent to the hospital, one is being held overnight.

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