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AP photo

Sep 15, 2016 11:23 AM

Heroin-fentanyl dust cloud sickens 11 New England officers during drug bust

The Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — New England authorities say 11 Hartford police officers became ill when they were exposed to heroin and fentanyl during a drug bust.

Deputy Chief Brian Foley posted on his Twitter account that the officers were sickened while executing a search warrant at Tuesday night in the city's Asylum Hill neighborhood. The officers were treated at a hospital and released.

Foley says the SWAT team members had symptoms of exposure to airborne heroin and fentanyl including nausea, light-headedness, sore throats and headaches.

Police seized 50,000 bags of heroin, three-quarters of a pound of raw heroin, fentanyl, two handguns and drug packaging materials. Three people were arrested.

Fentanyl is a strong painkiller blamed for thousands of overdose deaths nationwide. Officers have gotten sick from airborne fentanyl, but no police deaths have been reported.

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