McConnell event cancelled after discovery of suspicious packages

By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email
By: Elizabeth Dorsett Email

Senator Mitch McConnell was supposed to tour the Kentucky Consular Center Tuesday in Whitley County, but Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird says he was diverted after a hazardous materials scare.

Officials say three mailroom employees opened two packages containing an unknown substance around 9:30 Tuesday morning. Harzardous materials crews, the FBI and Kentucky State Police Investigators helped evacuated dozens of employees at the visa lottery processing center, sending them all home.

The three mailroom employees were decontaminated and then sent home. Chief Bird says nobody was taken to the hospital.

"Once they were decontaminated, they were brought out and cleared medically," Chief Bird explaned. "I'm sure it was a frightening experience for them."

Even more frightening, Bird says packages containing unknown substances have been sent to the facility before.

"There have been similar incidents like this, but luckily it turned out to be nothing," he said.

Senator Mitch McConnell was scheduled to tour the facility at three Tuesday afternoon and speak with employees on the job.
While officials won't identify what kind of substance was mailed to the facility, they do say they believe the arrival of the packages was a coincidence.

"There is nothing to suggest the packages were in any way connected to the senator's visit here."

We spoke with McConnell's press folks who said there's no comment about the ongoing situation. The substance was taken to the state lab in Frankfort for further testing.

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