PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. -- A dye pack that accidentally exploded at Kitsap CU Tuesday forced an evacuation of the branch and sent one employee to the hospital.

The incident occurred when an employee accidentally set off a dye pack and a tear gas canister, reserved for stolen cash bundles.

The employee moved a tray of cash too close to a trigger location in the lobby of the credit union shortly after 9 a.m. When the tray entered range of the trigger point, the dye packet exploded, spraying red powder and a small amount of tear gas into the lobby, according to authorities.

Employees phoned 9-1-1 and evacuated the building.

Rescue squad personnel set up a gasoline-powered fan at the entrance of the branch to ventilate it and moved the tray of cash from the lobby to the parking lot, where credit union employees donned protective gloves, removed the cash from the tray and placed it in a bag.

After about 15 minutes, the building was declared clear, and employees were able to return, but the branch was closed until the early afternoon.






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