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Ore. Capitol Emptied After Powder Found

September 26, 2002|From Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. — The Capitol here was evacuated Wednesday after an envelope containing white powder and a threat was found in a mailroom, but initial tests found the substance was not hazardous, a state health official said.

The powder will be sent to the FBI office in Portland for further testing, said Grant Higginson, state public health officer. Officials will conduct a third test to make sure no anthrax spores grow.

The envelope bore a Pakistan postmark, Police spokesman Lt. Bill Kohlmeyer said. Gov. John Kitzhaber said the envelope, found in the third-floor mail room, was addressed to his office. He did not disclose the nature of the threat or say whether it was against him.

A mailroom worker and three state troopers called to the scene were quarantined in the mail room, given showers and sent home.

Dozens of police and fire vehicles surrounded the building, and the street in front of the Capitol was blocked off.

Higginson said there have been many anthrax scares around Oregon since the anthrax attacks last year, but all were hoaxes.

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