Wednesday, October 10, 2001

15 families evacuated
at Wheeler
Army Airfield

Wet packing material prompts
a soldier to have a
suspicious package examined

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Fifteen families were evacuated from a Wheeler Army Airfield housing complex last night after a soldier reported receiving a suspicious package.

The soldier received the package on Saturday, but didn't report the incident until last night after he believed the package had been tampered with because the foam packing material inside the box was damp.

"The package also didn't have a return address," said Capt. Stacy Bathrick, Army spokes-woman.

The package was taken to the Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit at Pearl Harbor and examined. It contained an unsolicited videotape.

The displaced families were initially moved to the Wheeler Army Airfield community center, and were permitted to return to their homes at 1:30 a.m. today. Some, however, chose to spend the night at the Schofield Inn at Schofield Barracks.

The soldier and his four family members were evaluated and released from Tripler Army Medical Center after it was determined none was exposed to a biological or chemical hazard.

Last week Shafter Flats near the main post was closed by police after a suspicious package was found.

That turned out to be a bag containing telephone wire.

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