The FBI field office in Miami recently installed a giant cedar statue, then promptly removed the structure. Turns out, a series of office workers became seriously ill, send many to the hospital. The 15,000-pound wood statue was to blame.
The cedar sculpture was created by artist Ursula von Rydingsvard and named Cedrus – which kind of sound like the name of a supervillain. The 17-foot tall piece was constructed out of western red cedar and comprised of 30 individual pieces. Cedrus was designed to look like a massive wooden tornado, but it wasn’t supposed to cause any damage.
Cedrus had other plans, it seems.
After the sculpture was installed, the cedar dust that came with it started to cause severe allergic reactions for many of the FBI employees. One of the first to be affected by the dust was the only on-site nurse.
According to an internal FBI letter about the issue, the nurse “developed rhinitis, difficulty swallowing, sinus pressure sneezing, has difficulty breathing and began to itch all over.” Another employee suffered from swelling of the face, and another was hospitalized for 11 days.
Cedrus was eventually taken apart. It’s been placed in storage in Maryland so it can’t harm any other workers. The FBI offices were thoroughly cleaned of the devastating cedar dust after the sculpture was removed.
In the end, Cedrus: 1, FBI: 0.
[H/T Huffington Post]