Jail resumes normal operations after inmate brings in ‘potential chemical substance’

UPDATE @ 10:30 a.m. (Feb. 27):

Two corrections officers who were transported to a local hospital during last night’s incident were treated and released and returned to the Tri-County Jail to complete their shifts, said Tri-County Jail Executive Director Scott Springhetti.

Investigators are still working to determine what the substance was that an inmate brought into the jail around 11:30 p.m. Monday, Springhetti said.

We are still working to learn the status of the deputies who were transported to the hospital.

No inmates were hurt during the incident and normal operations at the jail resumed around 3 a.m.


Five officials, including two correctional officers and three deputies, were hospitalized after an inmate brought a substance into the Tri County Regional Jail Monday night.

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According to Urbana Fire Chief Mark Keller, a HAZMAT team was dispatched to the jail around 11:30 p.m. for a potential chemical substance an inmate brought into the jail.

The five officials were transported to area hospitals after quickly showing flu-like symptoms including vomiting and nausea not long after the female inmate was booked into the jail.

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The HAZMAT team, after receiving proper procedures and standards to follow from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, were able to isolate the contaminated area, as well as decontaminate the area and potential victims.

The inmate was not harmed as a result of the substance, but will be monitored at the jail and transported if she starts showing similar effects to the officials.

The jail was on lock down for several hours.

Jail Executive Director Scott Springhetti said, "we're taking precautions necessary to make sure there is no exposure to the inmate population or staff."

The jail services Champaign, Madison and Union counties.

The incident remains under investigation by HAZMAT as well as the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office as they determine what the chemical substance was.

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