Missing Vials of Plague Accounted For

January 15, 2003
Posted at: 1:50 p.m. CDT

LUBBOCK, Texas -- According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, all the missing vials of bubonic plague reported missing from a Texas university have been accounted for.

Texas Tech University said some vials of the deadly disease were reported missing to campus police yesterday.

Television station KCBD, a sister station of KAIT, in Lubbock reported at least 30 vials were unaccounted for, and that officials don't know if they were stolen, or just misplaced.

A Lubbock newspaper reported on its Web site that the vials had been missing for several days, but weren't reported until Tuesday.

Texas Tech says there's no reason to believe the samples were intentionally taken from the lab. The school's chancellor says the strain of plague involved in the samples is common in Texas.

The FBI has sent agents to Lubbock to help in the search. Bubonic plague has killed about 200 million people in the past 1,500 years. It can be treated with antibiotics.