Contributed by: filbert Thursday, August 30 2007 @ 04:03 PM CST
Kansas City Star/AP story:
Phosgene from Iraq found in U.N. office[*1] (free registration required)
U.N. weapons inspectors discovered a potentially hazardous chemical warfare agent that was taken from an Iraqi chemical weapons facility 11 years ago and mistakenly stored in their offices in the heart of midtown Manhattan all that time, officials said Thursday.
The material, identified in inventory files as phosgene – a chemical substance used in World War I weapons – was discovered Aug. 24. It was only identified on Wednesday because it was marked simply with an inventory number, and officials had to check the many records in their vast archives, said Ewen Buchanan, a spokesman for the U.N. inspection agency.
A team of hazardous materials experts from the FBI and the New York City police went to the office on Manhattan’s east side, about a block north of U.N. headquarters, on Thursday with two steel containers to remove the materials and take them to a military facility outside New York for disposal, officials said.
While the disposal team was in UNMOVIC’s sixth-floor office, its small staff was evacuated along with other tenants from that floor, Buchanan said.