Anthrax scare in Salt Lake City

A small white vial filled with white powder caused a scare at a Salt Lake City bus depot on Tuesday with employees fearing that they had discovered anthrax.

The vial was found by a Utah Transit Authority employee who was cleaning a bus that had been parked for the night at the UTA's depot. A vial that was approximately half the size of a pinky finger was found on the bus, Salt Lake fire spokesman Mark Bednarik told

The vial was placed into another bottle by the employee, who intended to throw both away. After discussing the find with other employees, however, emergency crews were called by the UTA.

Several tests were conducted on the contents of the vial and investigators, Bednarik said, concluded that the white powdery substance was not anthrax but, rather, an illegal drug.

A similar discovery was made this week of a white powder in a Springfield, Missouri mailbox that saw the city fire department cordon off the area around the mailbox and send in two firefighters in protective suits t collect a sample of the powder.

After testing, it was determined that the substance was not anthrax or another hazardous powder. The substance was later identified as baby powder.