White powder sent to Fla. gov't office sickens 4
Firefighters and officials respond to the white powder threat at the Florida state attorney's Office on Jan. 3, 2012. / WPEC
According to CBS affiliate WPEC in West Palm Beach, Fla., police got a call around 9 a.m. from the office in West Palm Beach saying an envelope in the mail room was found with a white powder. Three people in the mail room complained of headaches after the envelope "poofed" the substance when opened.
The two women and a man who were affected were decontaminated at the scene. They were sent to a local hospital for treatment, along with a firefighter who suffered from cardiac symptoms. The workers are said to be in good condition, but are being kept under observation as a precaution. There was no status report on the firefighter.No other workers complained of symptoms, but the second floor of the building was evacuated due to the fact that many air ducts connect to the mail room.
According to the Palm Beach Post, initial testing of the white powder was "inconclusive." WPEC mentioned that there can be psychological and physical effects or psychosomatic symptoms even if the substance is not hazardous due to the panic caused by the situation, but Emergency Manager for the City of West Palm Beach Allan Ortman told the Palm Beach Post that when tested the powder didn't change colors, which is raising some concern. The powder has been sent to a FBI lab for further testing, and results are expected within 24 hours.
Police have not announced where the envelope was from nor who it was addressed to.
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