Anthrax scare at Mich. hospital

A white powder found on Monday at the imaging center on the campus of Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., in a tissue box has been found to be harmless.

The substance was found around noon by an employee of the imaging center who called the Royal Oak Fire Department, which notified the county, the Daily Tribune reports. Hazmat teams respond to such discoveries of unknown powders because they could reveal a toxin, poison or anthrax.

The four employees in the building, which is separate from the main hospital, were evacuated while hazmat team members ruled out anthrax and two other substances.

“We don’t know what It was but we know it tested negative for all things looked at (by the Oakland County Hazardous Material Response Team),” Colette Stimmel, director of corporate communication said, according to the Daily Tribune.

“It was taken seriously and fortunately it wasn’t anything harmful,” Stimmel said, according to the Daily Tribune.

Stimmel said that the incident had no affect on any patient care at the hospital.

“They ran three tests and thank God all came back negative,” Chuck Thomas, Royal Oak’s acting fire chief, said, the Daily Tribune. Thomas added that he was notified about the situation by Homeland Security. It was Thomas’ first day in his new position.

The scene was cleared around 4 p.m.