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Planned Parenthood clinic evacuated; 7 treated

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The latest on the evacuation of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Sarasota:

12:50 p.m.

Authorities say hazardous materials teams have found and removed as-yet-unidentified chemicals inside cleaning closets at a Florida Planned Parenthood clinic after staffers were evacuated.

Sarasota Police Department Genevieve Judge said in a news release that the teams responded to the clinic after staffers reported respiratory symptoms including shortness of breath. She said seven people were taken to a hospital for evaluation. Planned Parenthood spokesman Andrew Taverrite says no patients were onsite.

Judge says 42 people inside were evacuated at 10:45 a.m. and people were decontaminated at the scene. At the moment, Judge says there is no criminal investigation.

The clinic provides family planning services, preventive health care, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and abortions.

Planned Parenthood is a national target because of its role as the largest U.S. abortion provider. Last year, edited videos were released purporting to show Planned Parenthood selling fetal tissue for profit. The organization has denied the allegation.

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11:35 a.m.

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Sarasota has been evacuated because of an unknown substance, and six people have been taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The Sarasota Police Department said 38 people inside were evacuated at 10:45 a.m. Monday. Two hazardous materials teams responded. There were 38 people inside the building.

Officials aren’t sure what the substance is, and they said people are being decontaminated at the scene.

A nearby school is on lockdown but police said the children are safe.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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