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Mystery powder in Calgary jail lands inmate, four staff, in hospital

CALGARY — An inmate and four staff members at the Calgary Correctional Centre were taken to hospital on the weekend after they were exposed to a drug that may have been fentanyl.

September 19, 2017  By The Canadian Press

Police say a peace officer noticed on Saturday that an inmate had a powdery substance and went to check it.

The officer, the inmate and a second staff member had a reaction to the material and were taken by ambulance to hospital.

Two other staff members were also taken in as a precaution, but all five were later released.

A hazardous materials team was dispatched to the centre to ensure it was safe.


Alberta solicitor general’s office says in a statement issued Sunday that tests are being done to determine what the powder is.

“The substance appears to have been introduced into the institution by the inmate,” said the statement. “Centre staff acted quickly to contain the situation with the support from multiple Calgary emergency services personnel.”

Scott Conrad, chairman of Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Local 003, said the first peace officer went to help an inmate who was “in distress.”

“Not everybody does that. In their heads it’s very disturbing, but at the end of the day our members and our officers will do their jobs.”

Conrad also said the union was to meet Monday to discuss an action plan to present to the Alberta government that would ensure corrections officers have the tools they need to stay safe on the job. (CTV Calgary)

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2017

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