10/30/2014

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Powder causes evacuation at Ore. Department of Revenue

Powder causes evacuation at Ore. Department of Revenue

SALEM, Ore. – Police said an employee found an unknown powder at the Oregon Department of Revenue building in Salem Wednesday morning.

The employee found the substance in the cutting room on the first floor of the building.

"When the envelope went through the machine, the powder kind of puffed up into one of the worker's faces," said employee Karen Brown. "So they had to quarantine him and anyone else who was in the cutting room at that time."

About 100 employees on the first floor of the building were evacuated. A state police spokesman said none of the employees had any medical issues and the substance was not toxic or hazardous.

A spokesman with the Department of Revenue said the substance appeared to be protein powder, but it has not been positively identified.

A hazardous materials team responded to the scene.

"We got here at around 6:30 and just a couple of minutes before that is when they discovered the envelope that had some powder in it," said Brown. "This has happened before, and usually within an hour or two we're back at work. I've never really seen it blocked off this bad before."

Employees returned to work at around 10:30 a.m.

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