2 people found dead at Syracuse senior center, 9 others hospitalized after unknown exposure

Two men were found dead inside a Syracuse senior living center Wednesday morning in what became a hazmat situation.

Nine more people were hospitalized for exposure to an unknown substance, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said at a press conference. Those who were not discharged by the afternoon were in stable condition, according to McMahon.

Cops responded to Brighton Towers Apartments around 10:30 a.m. after a neighbor called 911, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said. They found two men dead inside a sixth-floor apartment.

A third person was transported to a local hospital, Walsh said. Authorities implied the man had been using drugs, as Walsh said he was hospitalized for an “altered mental status.”

At the scene, three Syracuse police officers, one firefighter and one emergency medical responder became ill, according to Walsh. All five were hospitalized.

While the five first responders were at the hospital, a nurse treating them also fell ill.

Following the incident, authorities evacuated the entire sixth floor for at least an hour, and a hazmat team investigated the area.

At the press conference, McMahon mentioned that Syracuse had seen a recent increase in overdose deaths attributed to xylazine, also known as “tranq.” However, xylazine is not dangerous to touch or spread through contact, so it remains unclear what led to Wednesday morning’s various hospitalizations.