ST. LOUIS– There was panic in the streets of St. Louis, Missouri today after loud speaker-equipped police cars and fire trucks with sirens screaming, roamed the streets ordering everyone to immediately leave.
A 35 mile long traffic jam stopped interstate traffic. School buses drove frightened students to various distant points as concerned parents overwhelmed 911 lines.
The emergency evacuation was ordered after a ten year old boy, Jerry Grover, was found fishing in the Mississippi river using a lead sinker.
Commercial and recreational boat traffic is stopped along a six-mile stretch of the river, as HAZMAT divers comb the murky waters in an attempt to find Grover’s lead sinker.
Mayor Francis Slay said he was afraid that the economic disruption would run into millions. ” We can’t have our residents return until they find that dangerous object.” He declared.
HAZMAT official Eugene Pender said his divers were at great risk and called them ‘heroic’ He said, ” We will continue searching until we find the sinker. It will be put into a safe transportable container and quickly sent by military transport aircraft out of the United States to a Chinese paint factory.”
A weeping Jerry Grover was detained at a juvenile facility outside the city, as FBI interrogators quizzed the boy to find out where he obtained the lead sinker.
FBI spokesperson, Ruth Saunders, estimated that fishing and swimming would be banned along a large stretch of the Mississippi well into the future. “Somehow lead is being smuggled into the country and we are determined to found out how.” she declared.
Chapters of the organization, ‘GET THE LEAD OUT’, throughout the country, responded to the emergency by praying. Vice President Dick Chaney asked Congress to approve the death penalty for anyone found trafficking in lead.
Chemistry professor Dr. Hiram Burke of Yale University said that lead (Pb) should be removed from the periodic table. ” I can’t understand how my generation survived when as kids we played with lead soldiers and cast sinkers from molten lead. Truly amazing!”