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Pungent odor forces VA hospital to evacuate. It was a urine sample, Virginia cops say

Scene outside the Virginia health center Wednesday, after emergency responders were called for a strong odor.
Scene outside the Virginia health center Wednesday, after emergency responders were called for a strong odor. YouTube screenshot

The “overwhelming” odor that prompted a Veterans Administration health center in Virginia to be evacuated Wednesday afternoon turned out to just be a very pungent sample of urine, reports the Daily Press.

It was so strong that a Hampton police HAZMAT team was called, streets were blocked off, and at least two people who came in contact with the urine had to be “assessed” at a nearby hospital, said the newspaper.

In an update to the case, hospital officials reported May 20 that the urine sample was tested and proved to be vinegar, according to WAVY.com.

Hampton is on the Virginia coast, about 80 miles southeast of Richmond.

The smell began permeating the Hampton VA Medical Center around 2:16 p.m. Wednesday, starting on the first floor and then drifting to upper levels, reported WTKR.com.

VA officials later revealed the smell emanated “from a urine sample that a veteran (had) dropped off,” according to 13News.

The station reports the smell was “chemical-like” and 50 people “were affected by it,” including the two employees who were hospitalized.

Teams of workers from the California Department of Toxic and Substance Control clean up hazardous material from the Carr Fire on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018.

Video of the scene shows multiple fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles filling a nearby road, as media helicopters fly over.

The evacuation was in place from 2:30 p.m. unti 7 p.m. and involved more than 120 patients and staff members, reported WAVY.

John Rogers with the Hampton VA told the station “it’s still unclear what may have been mixed with the urine, if anything” to cause the odor.

Six people were sent from a Lauderdale Lakes Walmart store to the hospital with respiratory issues. Cleaning chemicals were believed to be the source of complaints.

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