Company, emergency crews speak out about suspicious substance fo - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Company, emergency crews speak out about suspicious substance found at McJunkin in Nitro

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Emergency responders rushed to the scene this morning after crews say a package was opened by quality control workers at McJunkin Red Man Corporation in Nitro.  

Those employees, a man and a woman, who have not been identified, complained of respiratory problems and itchy, burning eyes after opening the package.  

The building was evacuated, and emergency crews entered the company.  

Those workers refused medical treatment, saying they felt fine once they got out into the fresh air.  

In the wake of horrific tragedies like the events that unfolded in Boston, local emergency responders said they aren't taking any chances what it comes to a call of a suspicious package.

"We stay on a heightened sense at all times, because you just can't let your guard down," said Chief J.A. Elkins of the Nitro Fire Department.  "You go into every situation, small or large, and you just have to watch your back and take every precaution."

Emergency crews say the substance was found inside a shipment of small pipes. The white substance coated the insides of the pipes.

Jim Underhill, the Chief Operating Officer of McJunkin Red Man Corporation told our 13NEWS crew on the scene that the public is not in danger at this time. 

"This was one package that was opened with just a few pieces in it.  But still, we want to be cautious.  We don't know that for a fact until the analysis is complete," said Underhill.  

FBI officials have taken samples of that unknown substance.  Crews say it could take up to two days to find out what made those workers ill.  

Chief Elkins said that package came from a manufacturer in Mexico that regularly makes shipments to the company.

No word yet on if McJunkin has been in contact with that manufacturer. 

The portion of the building where the package was opened will be quarantined until company officials learn what the substance is.  

The investigation is ongoing, stay with 13NEWS for the latest on this developing story.