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Kansas City IRS Employees Sickened After Contact With Suspicious Package

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A suspicious package caused about 10 employees at the IRS Center to grow ill Friday.

This story was updated with new information at 4:13 p.m.

About 10 employees at the IRS Center on 333 Pershing Road complained of sickness this morning after coming into contact with a suspicious envelope left in the building.

Susanna Marking, a spokeswoman for the Federal Protective Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said the envelope smelled of ammonia. She said several people reported feeling ill with watery eyes and seven people were hospitalized. 

A local HAZMAT team investigated the envelope, she said, and turned it over to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which is now leading the investigation. 

Kansas City Fire Department spokesman James Garrett said the affected employees were triaged and the injuries were "minor." 

“We isolated the package away from everybody so we did not have to evacuate the building,” he said. “We also did some meter readings on the package and were not able to read anything – we didn’t get a hit off anything.”

Garrett said the sickened individuals complained of vomiting and nausea after fumes came off the package. 

Emergency responders were called to the scene around 9:45 a.m.

Dan Margolies has been a reporter for the Kansas City Business Journal, The Kansas City Star, and KCUR Public Radio. He retired as a reporter in December 2022 after a 37-year journalism career.
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