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Police find THC extraction lab in El Segundo hotel suite

The Embassy Suites hotel near Los Angeles International Airport was evacuated Monday afternoon after a patron reported that someone was cooking meth in a room, police said.

Investigators later determined that a person was trying to extract tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

The incident began shortly after 1:30 p.m., when a guest who had just checked out of the hotel in the 1400 block of East Imperial Avenue approached a manager and said that people in his former room were cooking methamphetamine, said El Segundo Police Lt. Scott Doukakis. 

The manager called 911, and two El Segundo police officers responded to investigate, Doukakis said.

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"They opened the door and were overcome by fumes," Doukakis said of the officers, who were taken to a hospital with unknown injuries.

The officers did not find anyone in the room, Doukakis said.

A hazardous materials team from L.A. Impact, a countywide task force that targets illegal drug trafficking, responded to the scene.

Investigators concluded that the man appeared to be extracting THC from a "very small amount of marijuana" by using butane from a cigarette lighter, soap and cough syrup, Doukakis said.

No methamphetamine was found inside the hotel room, he added. 

The hotel patron who had checked out was detained by police and was also taken to a hospital for medical treatment, Doukakis said. His identity was not released.

The hotel reopened about 5:45 p.m. A spokeswoman for Embassy Suites, which is operated by Hilton, confirmed that the hotel was cleared to reopen and referred further comments to local authorities.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

7:03 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details.

This article was originally published at 6:01 p.m.

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