Twenty-four people have been treated for possible overdoses at Ross Correctional Institution in Chillicothe, Ohio.
The mixture was later determined to be fentanyl and heroin.
Authorities believe the people were sickened with fentanyl, which is a powerful opioid, according to WSAZ-TV. The mass overdose was reported on August 29, 2018. However, other news sites reported that, although Fentanyl is possible, the substance that sickened people has not been definitively identified yet.
Most of those treated with Narcan – which reverses the effects of opioid overdoses – are guards and nurses, according to The Dayton Daily News. A dozen of those affected were given Narcan, the newspaper reported.
No deaths have been reported. Most people taken to a local hospital were treated and released but 19 people were transported to the medical center, according to NBC4i.com.
There were also five people taken to the hospital on the same day when an unknown substance was reported at another prison.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Mass Overdose Occurred in a Prison Cell Block
A single cell block was affected in the prison, but it’s not yet clear how the overdoses occurred. The area was evacuated. Some of those affected were inmates at the prison.
Ross Correctional Institution is a 1,707-acre facility that opened in 1987. “The facility currently serves Level 1, 2, and 3 security (minimum, medium, and close) male inmates,” a report on the prison reads.
Adena Regional Medical Center went on code yellow to deal with the large number of patients coming into its emergency room, according to 10TV.
Authorities say there is not a threat to the general public from the incident, which remains under investigation with a haz-mat team at the prison.
Authorities Called It ‘Substance Exposure’
The Ohio State Highway Patrol released a statement that said the agency “is currently investigating a substance exposure at the Ross Correction Institution, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. The facility is secure with no safety threat to the public.”
The agency reported that, at 9:10 a.m., troopers and EMS rushed to the prison after reports that correctional officers and inmates had suffered “possible substance exposure.” The statement added, “Preliminary reports indicate a total of 24 individuals, including correctional officers, nurses and inmates have been exposed, no fatalities. All officers, nurses and inmates are responsive and have been transported to Adena Regional Medical Center for treatment. Several doses of Narcan were administered to victims and an additional 300 Narcan doses are available at the facility. The contaminated cell block has been cleared, and all persons from the contaminated area have been temporarily relocated within the facility. A hazardous material decontamination team is en route for cleanup. This incident remains under investigation.”
You can read the full statement from the Ohio State Patrol here.