Hazmat crews responded to St. Raphael’s Hospital in New Haven after someone broke into a nuclear medicine lab, according to fire officials.
New Haven Fire Chief John Alston said employees discovered the lab had been vandalized when they came in around 8 a.m. Saturday.
Twelve employees were exposed to an unidentified radioactive substance in the basement-level lab.
“Depending on what type of radiation it is, and the amount, and the energy source it is it can be devastating,” Alston said.
Three employees underwent decontamination due to a black powder on the bottoms of their shoes. None of the employees were exhibiting any symptoms.
The bottom floor of the hospital and the immediate area above were evacuated as a precaution.
The fire chief said that because the medicine is made in small doses, exposure was limited.
Hospital officials later said that while the employees were exposed, no one was contaminated. The victims are expected to be fine.
It is unclear at this time if anything was stolen from the lab. Authorities are reviewing surveillance footage to determine who broke in and why.
“People break in to all types of buildings. They don’t really know sometimes what they’re breaking into,” Alston said.