Anthrax scare at Hawaii high school

Classes at Waiakea High School, in Hilo, Hawaii, were disrupted this week after school officials found an envelope that contained a suspicious white powdery substance.

The Hilo police and fire departments were dispatched to the school and the building was cleared after the alarm, according to a KPUA.net report.

School principal Patricia Nekoba told KPUA.net that the envelope was discovered by school officials in the administration building.

Civil Defense Chief Wendell Hatada reported that no one was ever in any danger during the disruption. Hatada also told KPUA.com that the fire department tested the suspect material and that all tests have come back negative for anthrax or any other harmful substance.

In related news, officials with the Hawaii Civil Defense and the Federal Fire Department took part in the third Makaala Drill at the U.S postal service processing and distribution center near the airport, according to a HawaiiNewsNow news report.

Postal workers evacuated the building while Honolulu and Federal firefighters, wearing Hazmat suits, went through a mock decontamination process. Firefighters also underwent decontamination via a liquid wash, according to the report.

Doug Aton, Director of Oahu Civil Defense, said he was pleased with the drill.

“As you can see by the response, it takes a lot of resources and a lot of man power so we want to make sure that we don’t tax the fire department and the police department, and the emergency medical department people,” Aton told HawaiiNewsNow. “We do this at least once every three years so it takes care of the changes in command, administration personnel and to make sure that we integrate our plan with theirs.”
 

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