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A building at a veterans hospital in Virginia was evacuated on Wednesday after an "unknown chemical odor" – that later turned out to be urine – panicked officials.
In May 1999, then-Lt. Col. David Goldfeins F-16CJ fighter jet was rocked by the explosion of a surface-to-air missile during a mission during the Kosovo War. Ejecting from his aircraft, the future Air Force Chief of Staff landed in a ravine and evaded Serbian fighters until he was rescued by a combat search and rescue team, according to the Washington Post; he was just one of two pilots shot downed as part of Operation Allied Force during the short conflict.
Virginia VA hospital evacuated for unknown chemical odor that turns out to be urine sample
Around 2:30 p.m., the Hampton VA Medical Center's mental health building was cleared due to the smell. Soon after, the local fire department and their hazmat team were responding to the situation.
The overwhelming stench of a vets urine sample forced the evacuation of a VA hospital in Virginia
The Hampton VA Medical Center in Hampton, Va., was evacuated on Wednesday after an "unknown chemical odor" was smelled in the facility.
More than two decades after Goldfeins harrowing ordeal, the Air Force is exploring a more elegant option for future combat rescue missions: an unmanned system that, air-dropped onto the battlefield, is capable of whisking downed pilots and other wounded service members out of dangerous territory, Aviation Week reports.
The facility's air quality was being tested, and two members of hospital staff who "came into contact with the substance" were placed under medical observation, according to a Facebook post from the facility.
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It turns out the "unknown chemical odor" was urine. A spokesperson for the hospital told WTKR that the "pungent, overwhelming" stench was from a sample.
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.
"We are looking into this matter, and we are concerned for our employees' and veterans' safety," spokesperson John Rogers said.
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.
The building was given an all-clear around 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, and the building was scheduled to open again 7 a.m. Thursday.
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