I’m not sure whether this was a case of paranoia, or some really bad fumes, but General Mitchell airport in Milwaukee was briefly shut down yesterday when several TSA agents complained about shortness of breath and “feeling disoriented” after smelling a foul odor coming from a passengers bag.
The terminal was evacuated and rows of ambulances and fire trucks were rushed to the airport.
As it turns out, the “foul odor” was nothing more then the stench from “Goof-Off”, a common household cleaning product containing Xylene which happened to be soaked in some rags inside the bag.
Three of the TSA agents were in such bad shape that they had to be transported to a local hospital. All I can imagine is that they must have really freaked out, thinking they had just inhaled something really nasty. Still, I’m not entirely sure it is wise to be traveling with Xylene soaked rags, so let that be a lesson to anyone who was planning to try this during their upcoming summer trip.