Nerve Gas Found at UN Building

Building evacuated after vials of dangerous chemical turn up in office
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2007 12:46 PM CDT
The United Nations headquarters is seen in New York, Friday, July 27, 2007 . Ms. Alicia Barcena, the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Management announced Michael Adlerstein as Captal Master...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Weapons inspectors cleaning out an office in a United Nations building near its Manhattan headquarters found six to eight vials of a nerve gas believed to have been recovered from Iraq in 1996, the AP reports. A UN spokeswoman said there was no immediate danger from the substance, identified as phosgene, an older chemical warfare agent.

A UN team secured the substance and called US authorities for backup, AP reported. The phosgene, in vials of various sizes, was suspended in oil; the spokeswoman said its state was uncertain but "potentially hazardous." She added, "the only information we have of the contents of that bag is from an inventory of a 1996 inspection."