(EVERETT, Wash.) — An incident at a Washington jail Wednesday prompted a significant emergency response and sent seven inmates to the hospital after a potential fentanyl exposure.
The incident resulted in seven inmates being transported to a local hospital, with no fatalities reported, according to the Everett Fire Department. Twenty-three emergency response units responded to the incident, officials said.
Exposure to fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, likely resulted in multiple overdoses, ABC affiliate KOMO-TV reported. A spokesperson for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said each inmate received multiple doses Narcan, a medicine used to reverse opioid overdoses, which officials credited with saving the inmates’ lives.
Four inmates would soon be released from the hospital, the sheriff’s office told KOMO.
“Due to the number of patients, the incident was upgraded to a Multiple Casualty Incident (MCI), which brought in mutual aid assistance,” Everett Fire wrote online.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to an inquiry on the incident.
According to the facility’s website, the jail houses roughly 875 inmates across a “general housing module” and specialized housing. The module where the overdoses took place was placed under lockdown, according to KOMO.
The rate of fentanyl overdose deaths has spiked by 279 percent since 2016, according to the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Vital Statistics System. A string of overdoses in nearby Portland, Oregon, left eight dead last weekend, with at least six overdoses likely related to fentanyl.
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