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UPDATE: Package not found to be hazardous

Posted: January 9, 2012 - 8:50pm  |  Updated: January 10, 2012 - 12:38pm

The suspicious package that was received at the Kenai Courthouse Monday was declared not to be a threat, Alaska State Troopers said Tuesday. The Troopers are currently investigating the origin of the package.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the package was suspicious because it contained a white powder. The Troopers sent the envelope to the Department of Health's lab Tuesday in order to determine what the substance is, Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said. 

The Kenai Courthouse was vacated Monday afternoon after a suspicious envelope was received in the mail, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The package, which was suspicious in nature, was received around 3 p.m., Peters said. After courthouse employees opened the package, Peters said, Kenai Fire Department was called immediately. 

Not knowing the contents of the package, the occupants of the courthouse decided to vacate the building, though an official evacuation was not ordered, Peters said. Peters said it was not known how many occupants were in the building or if there were any court proceedings taking place at that time. Peters said courthouse employees are not expected to return to the building until the contents of the package are identified and dealt with appropriately.   

Troopers have since taken over the investigation, Peters said. They have called in the Alaska National Guard 103rd Civil Support Team, which is based in Anchorage and specializes in nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological threats, to help examine the package. The team arrived in Kenai around 10 or 11 p.m. last night.

“We’re taking it over for now until we know we’re dealing with,” Peters said. “We are looking to other people to help us determine what’s going on. There’s really nothing at this point.”

More details should be available Tuesday, Peters said. 

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