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Odor from ‘suspicious package’ makes 3 people ill in Loop building

At least three people were taken to hospitals after a suspicious package led to a hazardous materials situation at 131 S. Dearborn in the Loop. | Fire Media Affairs

Three people got sick from a “strong odor” after opening a package Thursday morning at a building in the Loop.

Authorities were called for a hazardous materials response shortly after 9 a.m. at 131 S. Dearborn, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt.

An employee had opened a package inside the building, and a “strong odor” from inside the package made that employee and two other people nearby feel sick, Merritt said. The three were taken to hospitals in good condition. At least 17 other people at the scene have refused medical treatment.

It was not immediately clear what was inside the package, but authorities have determined that it was not dangerous or hazardous, Merritt said. The scene was secured and the building was reopened by about 10:40 a.m.