Misplaced VX nerve agent caused Dugway closing

The reason for the recent lockdown at the Dugway Proving Ground has been revealed to be a small amount of VX nerve agent that was misplaced.

The Dugway Proving Ground was reopened after the agent, which affects the body’s ability to carry messages through nerve cells, was found. The missing vial caused the base to be on alert for nearly fourteen hours, according to the Associated Press.

Post commander Col. William E. King told the AP that the base was never in any real danger. The nerve agent was not unsecured, but had been incorrectly placed in a mislabeled container after testing at a base laboratory. The problem was detected during a routine inventory check.

"It's an unfortunate oversight but one that we take very seriously," King said at a news conference, according to the AP.

King also said that he has halted all chemical weapons testing on the base until an internal review can be conducted. He said that staff will be retrained in the wake of the incident.

Surveillance footage from the laboratory showed that there was no outside access to the vial during the hours it was unaccounted for. The vial had been stored both in a secondary container and locked in a vault, according to the AP. King said multiple security systems were in place.

King said he believes there was no malicious intent on the part of the employees that were conducting the tests. Army and Federal Bureau of Investigation employees are still talking to the employees in an effort to determine what went wrong. King did not say whether the two will face disciplinary actions.