FBI Responds to Stinky, Probably Harmless Package at JFK Airport [Updated]

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 28: A plane waits at John F. Kennedy Airport on February 28, 2013 in New York City. Should the $85 billion in automatic federal budget cuts, known as the sequester, go into effect Friday as scheduled, airport control towers in a number of states could close, putting pilots and staff members at risk. In addition to the closed control towers, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers could be furloughed, leading to long waits and confusion at many airport security checkpoints. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/2013 Getty Images

FBI HAZMAT units and Port Authority police were called to JFK airport Sunday afternoon after two customs agents noticed a foul smell coming from a package that may have arrived from China, NBC New York reports. According to Reuters that preliminary tests showed the contents tested positive for VX nerve gas, a weapons-grade chemical, though a source at the airport suggested that there wasn’t anything dangerous in there, pointing out that “it is common for such tests to have false positive readings.” They’re still doing more tests to make sure, though, and airport authorities wouldn’t comment on the situation. The two agents who came in contact with the box initially reported feeling sick, but they declined medical attention and are said to be feeling better now. Assuming the package did not contain bomb-making materials, we can’t help but wonder what actually caused the HAZMAT-grade odor. Update: A spokesman for the FBI says the workers were exposed to phosphoric acid and the package “was determined to be beauty supplies.”

FBI Responds to Stinky Package at JFK