Local News

Powder found at State Capitol deemed non-hazardous

Posted June 8, 2010 9:49 a.m. EDT
Updated June 8, 2010 4:59 p.m. EDT

— Tests have determined that a powdery substance found in a letter opened at the State Capitol on Monday afternoon wasn't hazardous, according to the state Division of Public Health.

Officials tested the substance for anthrax, ricin and other bacteria, toxins and viruses.

Authorities ordered legislators, staff and visitors out of the State Capitol Monday afternoon after a staff member found white powder in a letter addressed to Gov. Beverly Perdue, officials said.

The two staff members who were exposed to the substance were treated outside the building and appeared to be fine, authorities said.

Staff from the Governor’s Office, State Capitol Police and the Department of Cultural Resources who normally work in the building returned to work Tuesday, but the building remained closed to the public as a precaution until final tests on the powder were completed.

The State Capitol will reopen to the public on Wednesday, officials said.

State Capitol Police have opened a criminal investigation into the matter and were trying to determine the origin of the letter.