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UPDATE: Chili Powder Caused Hazardous Scare

Initial tests show a red powder found Monday morning outside a Greenville business was chili powder.

Eight people who worked at Precision Tune on Greenville Boulevard were sent to the hospital, complaining of scratchy, burning eyes. An employee who started to sweep the powder away began feeling chest pains and shortness of breath.

Pitt County Health Director John Morrow says they are conducting further tests to determine whether something else was mixed in with the powder to cause people to become sick.


The State Public Health Department is analyzing the sample of red powder found at a local Auto Care Center on Monday.

The sample was sent off as a priority to the state lab.

The Pitt County Emergency Management office says the results could be in as early as Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning.

Business is back to normal as Precision Tune Auto Care Tuesday morning as workers returned the shop where the incident occurred.

All eight people sent to the hospital yesterday were treated and released Monday afternoon.

One of the managers of Precision Tube tells us, they're doing well and thank all the customers who called inquiring about their well-being.

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Police say a red powder was found early Monday morning on the front steps of Precision Tune Auto Care on Greenville Boulevard in Greenville. The business is located near the intersection of Greenville Boulevard and Evans Street.

An employee started to sweep the powder away and began feeling chest pains and shortness of breath.

Seven other people also had the same symptoms, including scratchy, burning eyes, and they were transported to the hospital as well.

Hospital officials tell WITN News the emergency room treated a small number of patients and none were seriously injured.

There is no word what the substance is. Hazmat teams have cleaned it up.

Greenville Boulevard is open.


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