Anthrax hoax shuts court in Elgin, Ill.

An unidentified white powder was found with a threatening letter at the Second District Appellate Court in Elgin, Ill., which led to 28 people being taken to local hospitals for precautionary measures.

Initial testing by the Elgin hazmat team ruled out botulism, ricin and anthrax. The letter was allegedly sent by an inmate at Tamms Correctional Center in southern Illinois, according to the Trib Local Elgin.

Local firefighters and police were called to the court facility at around 11:20 a.m. on Monday. All of the people inside of the building when the letter was opened were sent to local hospitals, though no one has been reported as ill or injured. The FBI is taking precautions to properly identify the substance.

“The FBI requires 72 hours to identify the substance and as a precautionary measure, will close the court house for that period of time,” Sue Olafson, a police spokeswoman, said, according to the Trib Local Elgin.

In the letter, the inmate allegedly wrote that the powder was anthrax, apologized to whoever opened the letter and wished death for all of the judges.

Jennifer Gonzales, the clerk who opened the letter, told Trib Local Elgin that she got the white powder on her hands and leg, but she is currently doing fine. She has only been a clerk for about seven or eight months.