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Quantico post office reopens after scare

Apr. 29, 2013 - 02:21PM   |  
First responders walk towards the post offrice at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., after a suspicious package was discovered there at April 29. Tests of the substance were negative.
First responders walk towards the post offrice at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., after a suspicious package was discovered there at April 29. Tests of the substance were negative. (Cpl. Antwaun L. Jefferson/Marine Corps)
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The post office aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico has reopened after closing down this morning when a worker discovered a mysterious white powder inside a parcel.

The post office staff made an emergency call around 8:20 a.m., said 2nd Lt. Amanda Anderson, a spokeswoman for the base. At the time the powder was discovered inside an envelope, there were four people inside the post office: two Marine postal specialists, a civilian postal clerk, and a Marine patron, she said.

The emergency team that responded to the call included local Prince William County Police, Quantico military police, firefighters, explosive ordnance disposal specialists and hazardous material experts, who entered the post office around 9:40 a.m. to examine the substance. Initial tests of the powder turned up negative for hazardous material.

“They also were checking over the Marines and the civilians who were in the building, and none of them exhibited any symptoms whatsoever,” Anderson said.

Anderson said it’s not yet clear what the white substance actually was.

Officials sounded the all-clear around 10:40 a.m., Anderson said, and the post office reopened for business shortly after that.

The white powder scare comes the same day that martial arts instructor James Everett Dutschke is due in court after allegedly sending letters containing the powerful toxin ricin President Obama and members of Congress.

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