Two new Portland powder scares occupy hazmat squads

Two additional matters involving suspicious white powder on Thursday kept Portland, Oregon, hazmat teams occupied, with both situations involving letters labeled with the word "anthrax."

A total of six letters containing a threat and a harmless substance have been discovered in Portland since April 26, though police are unsure if the incidents are related or not. The letters on Thursday were found in the Market Center building near Market St. and Southwest 4th Ave. and the Marquam Plaza Building on Southwest 3rd Ave., KATU reports.

"It's too early to say if they are related but it is certainly an area investigators will look at," Beth Anne Steele, an FBI spokeswoman, said, according to KATU. "People who perpetuate hoax attacks can face very serious penalties, including time in federal prison."

The first Thursday letter was delivered to room 518 of the Market Center building, which is used by the human resource department of Portland State University. Of the eight people in the room, only two were exposed to the powder. The two workers were isolated until the powder was found to be non-toxic. The second Thursday incident exposed 15 people to the suspicious powder in the human resource division of the Oregon Health & Science University.Two new Portland powder scares occupy hazmat squads