8 hospitalized after unknown substance found at RI prison

RI DOC spokesman J.R. Ventura said no one had touched the substance, but they had been in the vicinity

By Katie Mulvaney
The Providence Journal

CRANSTON, RI — Rescue crews flooded the women's unit at the Adult Correctional Institutions on Saturday afternoon, and eight people were taken to area hospitals for testing after an unknown substance was found, according to the corrections spokesman.

Five inmates and three staff members were taken from the facility on Fleming Road to area hospitals, J.R. Ventura, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections, said. The inmates were quickly cleared medically and returned to the prison by 5:45 p.m. He was awaiting word on the staff, but expected them to soon be cleared.

"They didn't exhibit any symptoms," Ventura said, adding "This is all part of our safety protocol."

A decontamination tent was set up outside the women's unit as protocols kicked in after the substance was found. The substance is now being tested.

Ventura said that no one had touched the unknown substance, but they had been in the vicinity. He said Saturday evening that the women's unit was on lockdown.

"No one was affected. Everyone is safe," he said.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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