Unknown Fumes Force Three to RI Hospital

Shortly after noon on April 17, 2003, the North Providence, RI Fire Department was dispatched to the Citizens Bank on Charles Street for people overcome by fumes.

Engine 4, located just two blocks away, was the first to arrive and was informed that several people were overcome by a strange substance.

They were told that the odor seemed to be coming from a stack of money that was deposited earlier.

Command had the State's Department of Environmental Management notified and their Hazardous Material Representative responded.

Firefighters in full turnout gear and SCBA entered the bank to remove the drawers and anything else that the money may have come in contact with.

The money in question was packaged and sent to the FBI lab for analysis.

Police officials are unclear of the source of the substance and reported that there is a remote chance that the money may have been involved in a previous bank robbery and that the residue may have been from a dye pack that exploded.

The teller that handled the transaction and two surrounding tellers felt their throats constrict and their eyes water.

Rescues from North Providence, Pawtucket and Smithfield transported the victims to Fatima Hospital.