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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Jail remains on lockdown until further notice, after 11 employees suddenly got sick from an unknown substance on Sunday. Cell are being searched, and investigators say they might have found the contraband that caused it.
The contraband that’s been found is paper stained with what Warden Orlando Harper called a “suspected liquid narcotic.” It has been turned over to Allegheny County Police, who will take it to the Allegheny County Crime Lab for testing.
Watch the warden’s full news conference here:
All of the employees are okay and have since returned to work, but at the time reported a number of symptoms.
“Those employees reported a variety of symptoms, including elevated blood pressure and dizziness,” said Harper.
Nine corrections officers and two members of the medical staff got sick while on three different floors of the jail.
“All employees were taken to the hospital for evaluation and were released,” said Harper.
Monday morning, the lockdown began.
“That means no visits, inmates were secured in their cells, no programming will take place until further notice,” said Harper.
Cell searches and interviews are still underway.
Jail officials are not sure how the contraband got in. They are hoping, as the investigation continues, they will find out.
Attorneys are the exception for the jail visits.
But they are not allowed on the pods like they usually are; instead, they will meet with their clients in a designated room.
The lockdown is similar to the one at state correctional facilities, which have also been dealing with incidents of employees mysteriously falling ill.