SALT LAKE CITY -- The Army said Thursday that Dugway Proving Ground, where military weapons are tested, was locked down for hours because a small amount of a nerve agent was unaccounted for.
The military said in a statement the amount missing was less than one fourth of a teaspoon of VX nerve agent, which affects the body's ability to carry messages through the nerves.
The missing vial prompted a lockdown late Wednesday afternoon that lasted until the agent was found early Thursday.
The Army said no one was in danger and the lockdown was ordered as a precaution. Between 1,200 and 1,400 people were inside the facility at the time. They included military personnel, contractors and civilian workers.
"All of our employees are safe and there is no damages that I know of," Bonnie Robinson, a post spokeswoman, said Thursday morning.
Dugway is about 85 miles southwest of Salt Lake City. Military weapons are tested there but its primary mission is defending troops against biological and chemical attacks.
Encompassing more than 800,000 acres of Utah's west desert, the post also is used by the U.S. Army Reserves and the U.S. National Guard for maneuver training.
Robinson said post officials were planning a news conference at 1 p.m. MST Thursday at Dugway.
Post commander Col. William E. King said in a statement Wednesday: "We are working as quickly and as thoroughly as possible to resolve a serious concern within the Test Area. ... Measures like these (lock down of our gates) are not taken lightly. No one is in immediate danger but these steps are required."