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Suspicious Substance Closes Texas Capitol Basement

Texas State Capitol

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The state Department of Public Safety says part of the Texas Capitol’s basement has been temporarily closed while firefighters investigate a “powdery substance” in a lawmaker’s office.

DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said Wednesday that the East Wing basement was closed “as a precaution” while the Austin Fire Department assesses the situation.

He said he didn’t know which lawmaker had been affected, or further details about the substance. It wasn’t clear how long the area would be closed.

Vinger added that the rest of the Capitol remains open.

Teams in hazardous materials suits were seen entering the area, but later shed their protective gear.

The Capitol’s basement houses mainly lawmakers’ offices. Authorities used police tape to block the area off and troopers were stationed in nearby hallways.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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