Authorities today continue to investigate whether chemicals found in a Holiday Inn in Peabody were being used to make crystal methamphetamine.
Peabody police spokesman Detective Michael Crane said his department and the US Drug Enforcement Administration are reviewing what was found in the Route 1 hotel, and are still investigating who was responsible for bringing it into the building.
He said no arrests have been made, and that most of the hotel guests were allowed to return to their rooms earlier today.
The discovery was made when smoke was seen coming from the room, Crane said. Peabody firefighters entered the room, spotted the chemicals, and then alerted police, he said.
Firefighters and police evacuated 190 people from the hotel, including 25 children, as a precaution, and they were later allowed to return to their rooms. No one was treated at the scene for chemical-related injuries.
Crystal meth, as it is known, is a highly addictive drug that has become extremely popular among users in recent years, and is widely feared by authorities for its ruinous effect on addicts.
Law enforcement officials say crystal meth is increasingly produced in “tabletop labs” that can be thrown together in many locations, including hotel rooms. In December 2007, agents arrested a Waltham man outside a motor lodge in Natick where he and a colleague had allegedly rented a room to make crystal meth.
Making crystal meth involves using highly volatile chemicals, including acetone, denatured alcohol and sulfuric acid, and the vapors from the chemicals can permeate the walls and carpeting of the makeshift labs, rendering them uninhabitable, according to the US Justice Department.