Suspicious Package Found, State Building Evacuated

HAZMAT crews found a powdery substance inside an envelope around 11 o'clock in the morning. Crews say they found a powdery substance inside an envelope in a third floor office of the Department of Health building.

Soon after around 1,000 employees were evacuated and later sent home. HAZMAT crews quickly arrived at the Southwood complex and took no chances, going in with full protective gear.

After collecting the substance they will now analyze it to find out exactly what it is. Crews say six people either came in contact with the substance or came close to it.

LT Chris Wincklemann with the Tallahassee Fire Department says, "They're fine. We did baseline studies of their health. They went home and took showers and washed thoroughly and then they're supposed to bring the clothing that they wore back in HAZMAT bags."

We did find out that the substance tested positive for protein. This means it could be biological and something more than mere baking soda or flour for instance.

An analysis of the powder should be completed by the end of the day. Since the evacuation happened so suddenly, many employees left a lot of their personal effects inside.

DOH officials tell us they will reopen the building once authorities have cleared it.


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