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Mystery substance identified after hazmat response at Mahnomen County gas station


MAHNOMEN, Minn. – The mystery substance found on cash that burned a clerk at a Mahnomen County gas station Monday, April 30, turned out to be a “carbohydrate” that may have triggered an allergic reaction, according to the sheriff’s office.

A state lab in St. Paul determined that the powder on the bill was “nontoxic and nonacidic,” the sheriff’s office said Tuesday.

Seven employees of the gas station, including the cashier, were taken to the Mahnomen Health Center for treatment, and the Moorhead hazmat team was called to the gas station.

According to the sheriff’s office, a customer whom law enforcement wasn’t able to identify entered the Community Co-op Cenex store, at U.S. 59 and Minnesota 200 northeast of the city of Mahnomen, about 12:20 p.m. and paid for an item with cash.

After the clerk who handled the cash complained of a burning sensation on her hand, the store was sealed off and emergency responders called in.

The cash in question was sent to the state Department of Health for testing the same day.

The sheriff’s office said no further investigation is needed.