VA patient’s threat about chemicals in vehicle prompts Haz Mat response

A Hazardous Materials team descended on a parking lot at the VA Hospital on Monday afternoon after a patient made a threat that he had a poisonous combination of chemicals in his Jeep, officials said.

The threat lead Cal State Long Beach officials to send out an alert urging students and faculty to shelter in place if they were near the International House, Los Cerritos dorms, Student Health Center, Nursing and Family and Consumer Sciences buildings.

“Close all doors and windows; move to an interior room if possible … Air quality is being monitored at this time,” the alert said. The university issued an all-clear about 45 minutes after sending out the alert.

The Long Beach Fire Department was called to the scene by the VA’s police department about an unknown substance inside a vehicle, LBFD spokesman Matt Dobberpuhl said.

“Our people are there on scene to test it and mitigate any damages,” Dobberpuhl said.

According to a spokesman for the VA, a patient made a claim that they had chemicals in his or her vehicle.

“The threat was that they are a poisonous combination,” said VA spokesman Rich Beam.

LBFD cleared the scene after they repackaged the chemicals in the Jeep and gave them to the Health Department to dispose of, Dobberpuhl said. There were no injuries during the incident and information was not available yet on what exactly the chemicals were.

A Hazardous Materials team descended on a parking lot at the VA Hospital on Monday afternoon after a patient made a threat that he had a poisonous combination of chemicals in his Jeep on Monday, August 12, 2019. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova

A Hazardous Materials team descended on a parking lot at the VA Hospital on Monday afternoon after a patient made a threat that he had a poisonous combination of chemicals in his Jeep on Monday, August 12, 2019. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova

A Hazardous Materials team descended on a parking lot at the VA Hospital on Monday afternoon after a patient made a threat that he had a poisonous combination of chemicals in his Jeep on Monday, August 12, 2019. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Steven, and her cat/child, Jones.
- ADVERTISEMENT -

More