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Joshua Tree park workers treated in hazardous-materials incident

March 21, 2012 |  8:46 pm

Haz Mat Response 032112

An apparent hazardous-materials incident at the Joshua Tree National Park headquarters is still under investigation by local and federal agencies, officials said in a statement Wednesday evening.

The park’s administrative headquarters was evacuated and closed Wednesday afternoon after a number of employees reported a sudden onset of symptoms, including “skin irritation, respiratory distress, nausea and eye irritation after working in the park’s mailroom,” according to the statement.

Emergency hazardous-materials teams, including the Combat Center Fire Hazardous Materials Unit and local fire teams, were called. Eleven park workers were treated under decontamination procedures, and a package delivered by a commercial carrier earlier in the day was identified as a possible source of the contamination.

The park’s visitor center was also closed but no visitors were exposed to any contamination during the incident.

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-- Rosanna Xia

Photo: Joshua Tree National Park headquarters Wednesday afternoon. Credit: National Park Service photo

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