Suspicious chemical release forces evacuation of Planned Parenthood offices in Indianapolis
Indianapolis metropolitan police responded to the Planned Parenthood clinic on the city’s Northside this morning to investigate a suspicious chemical release.
About 10 people were evacuated from the three-story structure at 3750 N. Meridian St. after reporting burning eyes, throat pain and nausea.
“It will be treated as a crime scene until we determine otherwise,” said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Catherine Cummings.
Using a new Gas ID Meter, the Marion County Board of Health determined the chemical likely was pepper spray, according to a release from the Indianapolis Fire Department. The meter uses a sample of the gas or chemical and matches it to one of the thousands stored in its computer memory. Results of the gas meter indicated a 97 percent match to pepper spray, the release said.
The initial police calls said an “unknown organic chemical” was released at the office, she said.
The Planned Parenthood clinic is on the first floor of the building housing several tenants but wasn’t open at the time the incident was reported, said Kate Shepherd, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood. She said the organization was “confident” that the release of the chemical was not intended for the organization.
“We are a 100 percent certain this incident has nothing to do with Planned Parenthood,” Shepherd said.
The office opens at 11 a.m., she said. No Planned Parenthood employees were inside and none was evacuated.