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Update: At least 69 people seen or treated after hazmat incident at Antioch Hobby Lobby

By Dave Pehling

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    ANTIOCH, California (KPIX) — At least 69 people were seen or treated by medical staff Wednesday — including three who were hospitalized — after pepper or bear spray was released at the Hobby Lobby craft store in Antioch, according to authorities.

First responders from Con Fire and the county hazmat team responded to a call around 2:50 p.m. at the craft store on 5800 block of Lone Tree Way, the agency said.

The social media account for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District’s public information officer posted that units had responded to the hazmat situation at the Antioch Hobby Lobby location.

According to Captain Chris Toler from Con Fire, the event is still under investigation, but it appears that someone may have entered the store and made an intentional release of a substance that has not yet been determined. Among the 69 people who received treatment, three were taken to the hospital, authorities said.

Con Fire later confirmed that they suspected a type of pepper or bear spray was used.

A later post noted that the “Con Fire HazMat Team showed up to stabilize a dangerous hazardous materials incident that had the potential to harm many in our community.”

Investigators have not located any container, but they do believe that it did not come from Hobby Lobby. An employee called first responders after the substance was released at the front of the store.

The materials released into the air caused skin irritations, watery eyes and respiratory distress for some people. Three people have been taken to the hospital.

Con Fire said they would provide an update as they get more information.

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