PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia police are still working to identify a substance that sent two officers to the hospital on Monday night. The officers were exposed to the substance during a traffic stop.
Police are awaiting tests to find out exactly what kind of substance caused the officers to become sick.
It started as a traffic stop around 10:30 p.m. at 30th and Diamond Streets in the Strawberry Mansion section of the city.
As police were searching a vehicle, it became apparent that two officers were having reactions to a substance in the car. Other officers rushed them to Temple University Hospital, where they were treated and released.
If it was fentanyl, which has been known to make first responders severely ill, the outcome could have been much worse.
“It sure would be scary for anybody to be exposed to anything like that. Officers are exposed to anything for any kind of car stop, we don’t know what we’re dealing with. We always try to take the ultimate precautions,” said Philadelphia Police Capt. Frank Llewellyn.
The DEA recommends first responders who encounter unknown powders should use at minimum personal protective equipment that includes gloves, dust mask, eye protection, disposable suit to cover their uniform and have naloxone, which is commonly referred to as narcan.
The driver of the car was taken into custody, but has not been charged.
Authorities are continuing their investigation.