Yesterday’s disruption at Sumter’s Main Street U.S. Post Office was caused by an accidental release of pepper spray. The post office was shut down for nearly four hours when seven employees became ill following exposure to the pepper spray.
The pepper spray is on-hand for letter carriers who use it to ward off attacks by dogs. The canister was inside a tote with other postal parcels and packages when a box of pamphlets shifted into the canister causing it to go off.
The fire department, Sumter County Emergency Medical Services and the Shaw Air Force Base Biohazard Unit responded to the scene where six of the employees were treated for respiratory problems. A seventh employee was taken to Tuomey Regional Medical Center for treatment.