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Poisoning scare hits U.S. Embassy in Paris

Two employees of the U.S. Embassy in Paris were being given medical tests Friday after handling a suspicious package and reporting feeling "unwell," officials said.
Image: The U.S. embassy in Paris
Outside the U.S. embassy in Paris where employees were being treated for poisoning after opening mail on Friday.Thomas Padilla / Reuters
/ Source: NBC, msnbc.com and news services

Two employees of the U.S. Embassy in Paris were examined for suspected poisoning on Friday after opening a suspicious envelope, but preliminary results indicated it was not harmful, the embassy said in a statement.

"The Embassy confirms that a suspicious envelope was received. Per Embassy security procedures, the two employees who were exposed to it were evaluated by medical professionals and the envelope is being analyzed by a laboratory," the statement said.

"Preliminary results indicate that the envelope was not harmful." French police officials said the two people involved were feeling "unwell" and that the incident was being investigated. A mobile laboratory was deployed at the site to test for poisonous substances.

Elizabeth Detmeister, deputy press attache at the embassy, said in a statement: "The embassy confirms that a suspicious envelope was received. Per embassy security procedures, the two employees who were exposed to it were evaluated by medical professionals and the envelope is being analyzed by a laboratory."

"Preliminary results indicate that the envelope was not harmful," she added.

Mailroom workers
She told msnbc.com that the two employees concerned worked in the mailroom at the embassy.

"They thought there was something suspicious [about the envelope], they reported it and our normal procedure is to have them treated or looked at by medical officials just in case," Detmeister said.

She said she was not aware of what caused the workers to be suspicious but added there was "no powder."

Embassy spokesman Paul Patin added: "We have no indication that anyone is in danger or hurt."