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White powder sent to Harvard Law faculty member not dangerous, incident is under investigation

Posted by Your Town  May 10, 2013 01:48 PM

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Officials determined Thursday evening that an envelope of white powder sent to a Harvard Law School building is not dangerous, according to a school spokesman.

Harvard Law School spokesman Robb London said today that the envelope was sent to a faculty member’s office in Hauser Hall, and was opened by an office worker shortly after 3 p.m. on Thursday, prompting an evacuation of the building’s fifth floor. An on-scene test and state laboratory test found that the white powder was not harmful.

London said that Cambridge police, Harvard police, and state officials who investigate hazardous materials, responded to the scene Thursday afternoon. Four people were in the room when the envelope was opened, but they have shown no symptoms.

“They are continued to be monitored, and have been checked for physical symptoms or discomfort, and no one has experienced anything,” London said.

The Globe reported Thursday night that the Boston Fire Department’s Prevention Division was also evacuated and shut down when an envelope containing a white powder was found in the building earlier that day.

According to Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald, the tests on the envelope with white substance were negative, but the envelope was sent to state lab for further testing.

Cambridge Assistant Fire Chief Gerry Mahoney told the Globe Thursday that there is no evidence that the package sent to the Boston Fire Department office and the envelope sent to Hauser Hall were related.

London said that Hauser Hall was reopened this morning. The incident is still under investigation.

Katherine Landergan can be reached at klandergan@globe.com. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

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