FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Three inmates and two deputies were hospitalized after being exposed to fentanyl at the Sebastian County jail.
According to a release from the sheriff’s office, deputies at the jail found two female inmates unresponsive and not breathing in their cell during normal cell checks around 2:30 p.m. August 24.
Deputies believed an overdose had occurred and were able to administer Narcan. Both inmates were revived after receiving doses. They have been transported to an area hospital.
Statements from other inmates confirmed they had taken fentanyl.
Fentanyl is 50-100 times stronger than morphine. Exposure through the nasal passages can instantly lead to depressed breathing and imminent death.
The release says deputies returned to the pod area to begin cell searches for any other contraband.
Two deputies were exposed to fentanyl residue and had to be transported to an area hospital for treatment.
Later, a third female inmate began to have seizures. EMS was on scene and able to administer aid. The inmate was also transported to an area hospital.
The release says the incident is currently under investigation and investigators are working to ensure the safety of staff and inmates in the facility.
Investigators are also looking into how the fentanyl got into the facility. The sheriff’s office believes the exposures to fentanyl are isolated to one pod area of the jail.