On September 14, 1991, several soldiers became ill when the contents of a metal can spilled while they were clearing the contents of a building. Explosive ordnance disposal personnel had identified the substance in question as CS, a riot control agent, two days before the incident. The Task Force chemical officer had also conducted an M256 chemical warfare agent detector test in the area before September 14th to determine the presence of chemical warfare agent; the test produced negative results. On two separate occasions, Fox reconnaissance vehicles initially alerted for nerve agents when testing the substance, but full spectrum analyses with calibrated MM-1s positively confirmed the presence of CS instead. Interviews with the exposed individuals and their commander described acute, short-term symptoms which are consistent with CS exposure but inconsistent with cyclosarin or sarin exposure. Independent analyses of the Fox tapes by three expert agencies all confirmed the definite presence of CS. They also explained why false alerts could have occurred for nerve agents. Interviews with the individuals present and their chain of command all verified that the substance in the metal container was CS.
Unfortunately, there is no physical evidence, i.e., Fox tapes, for the initial alert and exposure on September 14th. However, the same testing sequence of events occurred on the date of the exposures where no tapes are available, and on the later date where Fox tapes exist. On both occasions, Fox NBC reconnaissance vehicles initially alerted for nerve agent, and then operators ran full spectrum analyses with calibrated mass spectrometers which positively identified the presence of CS. Additionally, the health effects and duration of symptoms experienced by the exposed soldiers corroborate a CS exposure, and are inconsistent with a nerve agent exposure. Because all corroborating evidence (first hand accounts, contemporary documents, Fox tape printouts, medical evidence, and independent expert reviews) support the presence of tear gas, investigators assess that chemical warfare agent was definitely not involved in this incident at Camp Monterey, Kuwait.
This is a final report. However, if you believe you have information which may change this case narrative, please contact my office by calling 1-800-497-6261.
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