Muncie, Indiana building opens following anthrax scare without decontamination

The Academy of Model Aeronautics in Muncie, Indiana, following a white powder-related scare, has decided to hedge its bets and re-open without confirmation that the powder was benign, authorities have said.

The powder, which authorities learned was not anthrax, came in an envelope postmarked from Alabama.

The decision to re-open on Monday morning following the package's discovery on Friday, was made after the organization decided that the powder was a hoax.

Executive Director Jim Cherry told The Star Press that the fact that the mail clerk who had handled the letter failed to develop any symptoms of anthrax-related infection over the weekend, bolstering the organization's belief that the scare was a hoax.

"All these reports across the nation are turning into hoaxes, so we felt very comfortable coming back into work," Cherry told The Star Press. "If there was anything nasty, we would have felt it by now."

The AMA also chose not to conduct a cleanup of the site as they are confident that the substance is not harmful. Additionally, the mail clerk who opened the letter walked throughout the building, making a thorough cleanup a difficult task. The Delaware County EMA had suggested that a bleach solution be used to clean any affected areas.

"We really didn't have anything to clean up other than the fear factor," Cherry said.

Delaware County Sheriff George Sheridan confirmed later on Monday that the powder was not anthrax. Officials are still not certain what the powder was, though they believe that it was benign. The State Police laboratory in Indianapolis is currently analyzing the powder.