Emergency officials responded today to reports of white powdery substances being found in envelopes at the offices of Attorney General Martha Coakley and US Senator Scott Brown in downtown Boston. A similar incident was also reported at a courthouse in Greenfield.
No injuries were reported in any of the incidents, and tests indicated the substances were not dangerous.
Authorities responded to Coakley's offices on the 20th floor at One Ashburton Place at 11:58 a.m. Initial tests found no positive readings from the powder, the Boston Fire Department said, but officials planned to take the substance to the state lab for further testing.
Coakley said her office had received a letter that contained a “white, powdery substance.”
“Initial field tests have been conducted and the results do not indicate that the substance poses a risk. In an abundance of caution, additional testing will be conducted,” she said in a statement.
Authorities responded at 12:33 p.m. for another report of a powdery substance found at Brown's office on the 24th floor of the John F. Kennedy Federal Building, the fire department said.
Boston police said the powder had been found in an envelope at Brown's office. An initial test showed the powder posed no threat. Further testing will also be conducted.
In the third case, an envelope containing a white powder was opened by an employee in the Greenfield District Court at about 11:30 a.m., said court system spokeswoman Joan Kenney. The immediate area was immediately cordoned off and a hazardous materials team was summoned.
The building, which also houses Superior Court and Probate and Family Court, was closed at 2:30 p.m. Tests came back negative on the powder, Kenney said.
The incidents come at a time of heightened concern over security, in the wake of the killing on Sunday in Pakistan of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Brown and Coakley faced off in January 2010 in the special election race for the US Senate seat left vacant by the death of the late Edward M. Kennedy.
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