3 fall ill after suspicious package arrives at Air Force base

Three people became sick and were taken to a hospital on Wednesday after a suspicious package arrived at the mail center of an Air Force base in southern Illinois.

The incident prompted the partial evacuation of the facility.

The Chicago Tribune reports that two U.S. Postal Sevice workers and an Air Force serviceman "developed respiratory or skin reactions around 9 a.m. Wednesday in reaction to something in the mail room."

Col. Michael Hornitschek told the Tribune that officials had isolate a package believed to be the cause, which is now being examined by hazardous material specialists.

The three people who fell ill were treated and released, and fourteen other people were decontaminated.

The base's education center, bowling alley and other services near the mail center were evacuated as a precaution, but Hornitschek said there is no threat to the local community, and he downplayed the possibility of terrorism. The investigation of the package is proceeding according to protocol.

“Scott AFB emergency responders are well-trained professionals who provided immediate response. They are working diligently to render the area safe and investigating the source of the package,” Hornitschek said in a statement, according to ABC news.