White powder found in S.O.B. identified, not hazardous

Approximately 600 workers told to evacuate

The State Office Building in downtown Juneau was evacuated and closed Friday morning. It reopened around 4 p.m. after the FBI determined that a package with white powder in it was not hazardous.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell said the box, which was sent to the Department of Revenue on the 11th floor, had in it tax documents from a pharmaceutical company in California and that the white powder was part of the packaging.

Capital City Fire and Rescue and a hazardous materials team were first to respond to the building. The Juneau Police Department was also on site.

About 600 people work in the State Office Building. Employees were instructed to return to work Monday.

Sharon Leighow, a spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell, had originally said four people were exposed when the package was opened around 9:45 a.m. Leighow said the FBI sent the package to the state crime lab for analysis.

Capital City Fire and Rescue and a hazardous materials team were first to respond to the building.

Spokesman for the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Jeremy Zidek said this type of incident is not uncommon.

“We’ve had 200 other incidences in Alaska when the white powder has come back negative,” Zidek said. “With each of these incidences we have processes in place to secure the material.”


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