All clear given after powder scare at Department of Revenue - KPTV - FOX 12

All clear given after powder scare at Department of Revenue

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A suspicious powder found in the Oregon Department of Revenue mailroom in Salem led to an evacuation Wednesday morning, but officials have since given the all clear at the state building.

A spokesman for Oregon State Police said an employee on the first floor found the unknown powder substance and reported it between 6:30 and 7 a.m., roughly one hour before the Department of Revenue was to set open for business.

Karen Brown, who works at the Department of Revenue, said she arrived at work at 6:30 a.m. and quickly learned of the evacuation.

"When the envelope went through the machine, the white powder puffed up in one of the workers' faces," Brown said. "They had to quarantine him and anyone else who was in the cutting room at that time."

Brown said powder scares have happened before, but the response this time was greater than in the past.

State troopers evacuated and secured the building. The substance was checked for possible hazard, and police said they ruled it was not a toxic substance.

The Department of Revenue is located at 955 Center St. N.E. in Salem, just a couple blocks away from the Oregon State Capitol.

Elsewhere in the U.S., letters containing a substance believed to be ricin were sent to President Barack Obama and a U.S. senator.

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