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Mysterious Powder Causes Evacuation of Business

Mysterious Powder Causes Evacuation of Business

Posted - Jul. 20, 2004 at 10:11 a.m.



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OREM, Utah (AP) -- A suspicious package containing a powdery residue closed a business park and sent three mail handlers to a hospital for observation, but the powder turned out to be harmless.

"They've run the tests. It is not a hazardous material. We couldn't find anything bad that it matched up with," Orem Police Capt. Karl Hirst said Tuesday.

It turned out to be grounded up packing material, he said.

A worker Monday at Symantec Corp. opened the package, which contained a book, saw a powdery residue and apparently feared an anthrax attack. He reported feeling ill and was taken with two co-workers to Timpanogos Regional Hospital for observation.

Hazmat personnel were able to determine at the scene the substance was not anthrax, but sent it to a lab for further tests. The scare caused an evacuation of about 60 employees at the Canyon business park just after 5:15 p.m. Monday.

Symantec, a Cupertino, Calif.-based provider of computer security software services, employs about 175 administrative workers at the Orem business park. It has another 150 employees at a development lab in nearby American Fork.

The package delivered to Symantec actually was addressed to About.com, another company in the Canyon Park business park, Hirst said.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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