Powder scare prompts partial evacuation of state office in Virginia

The customer service area of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles' central office in Richmond was evacuated briefly Oct. 28 after a suspicious white powder spilled out of an envelope in the agency's basement mailroom.

The basement remained closed as members of the Richmond Fire Department's hazardous materials team retrieved the envelope and monitored air quality, said Richmond fire spokesman Lt. Shawn Jones.

Authorities were alerted about 11:30 a.m. after a mailroom employee was exposed to the white powder after opening an envelope. About 12 employees in that section were evacuated, Jones said.

The affected employee was evaluated by emergency medical personnel but exhibited no signs of ill health, Jones said.