SALEM, Ore. — A letter containing white powder prompted an evacuation at the Oregon Department of Revenue building in Salem Wednesday. At 7 a.m., an employee was exposed to the substance in the mail room. It drew a heavy response from police, HazMat crews and the Oregon National Guard.
HazMat crews quarantined seven employees in the immediate vicinity and another 75 to 100 workers on the first floor were told exited out of the building. Officers closed Center Street for about four hours, until the Oregon National Guard determined the powder was not toxic.
“It’s not biological, not a protein, and there’s no harm. It’s almost [has] the consistency of a protein shake powder, so kind of crystalline, but there’s no threat at this time,” said Richard Paetz, Deputy Commander of the Army National Guard.
No one was hurt. Officials have not confirmed what the substance is. Oregon State Police will continue the investigation.