FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A suspicious package forced the evacation of the entire floor of a Farmers Branch office building where U.S. Senator John Cornyn has a local office. The suspicious envelope was discovered by one of two people opening mail for the senator. “To my understanding it was a legal-size envelope and they found it suspicious,” according to Farmers Branch PIO Sgt. Chad Taylor.
It was shortly after noon when the call came to Farmers Branch Police who, when they arrived, called Dallas Fire-Rescue and its hazmat team. “The young lady that discovered the package thought it was suspicious enough that she used gloves to handle it,” according to Jason Evans, spokesman for Dallas Fire Rescue.
The fire department evacuated six other offices on Cornyn’s floor–25 to 30 people–while the hazmat team went to work. “Our guys suited up,” according to Evans, “went upstairs, the people that had been exposed were isolated, all tests came back negative and therefore we didn’t feel a need to treat them or take them to the hospital for anything.” U.S. Postal Inspectors took possession of the envelope, and office workers were allowed to return to work. While early indications are this envelope was not a threat, police would still want to hear from the public if there’s a concern about something that doesn’t look right. “Absolutely, if somebody sees something they think is suspicious obviously we want to err on the side of caution; that’s what we’re here for,” said Taylor. The envelope is now at a Postal Inspector’s lab where it will be examined inside and out.
Sen. Cornyn was not in the offices and is currently in Washington, D.C.
CBS News reports that President Obama has received three suspicious letters this week, the last of which is being tested for the poisonous substance ricin.
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