Ten employees from a Newton County business were taken to the hospital this morning after a suspicious package led to unpleasant symptoms for some workers and a joint investigation between the Covington Police Department, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.
According to Captain Ken Malcom with the Covington Police Department, an employee at Pure Talk Battery Company, located on Lochridge Road in Covington, opened a package at 2:24 a.m. Friday morning.
"They handled two batteries that appeared to be fused or glued together," Malcom said. "When they were separated, it released a white powder, at which point the employee began to feel a burning sensation on their arms and eyes, and a numbing of the hands."
Nine other employees also reported feeling the symptoms shortly after the box was opened. The employees decided to drive themselves to Newton Medical Center. They are still there receiving treatment.
Malcom stated that although the box was from a company that Pure Talk regularly does business with, the box contained a note that stated its intent was to harm someone. The package has been deemed suspicious and the Covington Police Criminal Investigation Team is cooperating with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security on this case.
Attorney Michael Geoffroy, who represents Pure Talk (which is also a family business), said the company was very concerned with the health and safety of their employees.
"We are fully cooperating with law enforcement and the hospital," he said.