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Police officers, emergency responders sent to hospital after assisting in meth cleanup

March 21, 2011|By Ed Ernstes (ernstes@wsbt.com)

ELKHART -- Two police officers and two emergency responders were sent to the hospital for chemical decontamination Sunday morning after assisting in cleaning up a mobile meth lab in Elkhart.

A WSBT reporter on the scene said that it happened at Vistula and High Streets Street in Elkhart just before 10 a.m.

Officers stopped a vehicle in the area for a routine traffic stop. Once the officer approached the driver's side window, he noticed a strong odor associated with meth production and instantly became ill as a result.

Extra officers were called out to the scene to assist. The driver of the vehicle was taken to the hospital, as well as the initial officer who stopped the car, an assisting officer and two emergency responders.

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Since there was so much contamination, responders had to be taken to the hospital for decontamination. The ambulance that arrived to the scene had to be decontaminated as well.

Corporal James Ballard was hospitalized after breathing in fumes from the suspected lab. Corporal Scott Garvey was later treated and released.

Doctors did additional tests on Ballard Monday. They say they're keeping in the hospital at least another night

Indiana State Police were dispatched to the scene to assist in safely disposing the meth products.

We will have much more on this story as more details become available.

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