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Substance sickens officers in abandoned hospital

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Two Norfolk police officers were hospitalized for evaluation Monday evening after they were sickened by an unknown substance they found in an abandoned hospital, the state fire marshal said. The officers were performing a routine patrol the grounds of Southwood Hospital on Dedham Street when they noticed that a previously secured door had been left ajar, Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said. When they entered the facility to investigate, the officers discovered multiple 55-gallon drums of the substance and became mildly nauseated. Coan said a small state hazardous materials team responded to identify the materials. Coan said the barrels appeared as if they had been illegally dumped in the abandoned facility. The public was not endangered by the incident, he said.

Nicholas Jacques can be reached at nicholas.jacques@globe.com.
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