Local News

Fayetteville Substance Tests Negative For Anthrax; Hotel Reopens

Posted November 5, 2001 2:18 a.m. EST

— A Fayetteville hotel has reopened after state tests revealed a suspicious substance found there on Friday was not anthrax.

The state lab did not go to the expense of further testing to determine what the substance was, but it is believed that the white powder found in a sealed container was laundry detergent.

The suspicious container was found in a lobby restroom of the StudioPlus Hotel on Sycamore Dairy Road. When two field tests indicated that the substance could be anthrax, crews evacuated and closed the hotel.

As a precaution, anthrax-fighting antibiotics were given to 42 guests and employees. Further tests over the weekend concluded that the substance was not anthrax.

City leaders met on Monday and said that they feel satified that they took the right precautions.

"Even though we realize there was a low accuracy rate for the positive testing of the characteristics of anthrax, it's great to know that it wasn't," said Jason Brady, a Fayetteville public information officer.

Fayetteville police consider the case closed. They say they have no reason to believe that someone planted the container there to scare people.

"The facts lend themselves to show that it's not a hoax and there is nothing to support that it was, in fact, a hoax. Therefore, knowing that, the case is not being investigated as a hoax," said Sgt. Alex Thompson of the Fayetteville Police Department.

Anyone who has questions about the lab results can call the Cumberland County Health Department at

(910) 433-3790

during regular business hours.