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Posted at 1:59 PM ET, 01/27/2011

Missing nerve agent shuts down Utah Army post

By Melissa Bell
(Jim Urquhart/AP)

A vial of nerve agent went missing at a Utah Army base Wednesday night, prompting officials there to lockdown the base until the vial was found about 3 a.m.

The Dugway Proving Ground's commander issued a sparse statement that the base was on lockdown to resolve a concern within its Test Area. It turns out that concern was a missing vial of the deadly VX nerve agent. Less than a fourth of a teaspoon had gone missing. The agent affects the body's ability to carry messages through the nerves.

According to the book "Critical Care Toxicology," VX was created in 1952 by British scientists. It is a persistent nerve agent because it spreads slowly and remains in place for weeks.

The commander said that about 1,200 to 1,400 people were inside Dugway at the time and that no one was in any danger.

Whoever misplaced that vial has got to be having a pretty crummy day at work.

Here's a local news report from the beginning of the lockdown:

Video Courtesy of

By Melissa Bell  | January 27, 2011; 1:59 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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