At least 22 members of American forces in South Korea may have been exposed to live anthrax spores, which the Pentagon says it accidentally shipped off to a military base there, a report says.
The announcement was made by United States Forces Korea (USFK), which is a sub-unified command of United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), on Thursday, Yonhap News Agency reported.
USFK said in a statement that the bio-weapon sample was destroyed after it was discovered that the deadly bacteria may not be an “inert training sample as expected.”
“Osan Air Base took prudent cautionary measures May 27, 2015, to investigate a potential exposure to a suspected sample of Anthrax,” it said.
It noted that the 22 US troops “may have been exposed during the training event,” but claimed that “none of the personnel have shown any signs of possible exposure and there is no risk to the public.”
On Wednesday, the Pentagon said it inadvertently sent live anthrax spores to as many as nine laboratories across the United States and one anthrax sample to the Joint US Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition Program at Osan Air Base, south of Seoul.
The labs were supposed to receive dead anthrax samples for research use.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said the military was working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to retrieve the samples.
According to the Pentagon, samples came from a military lab at Dugway Proving Ground (DPG) Army facility in Utah.
The live anthrax spores were shipped from Utah to labs in Texas, Maryland, Wisconsin, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, California and Virginia.
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