Anthrax scare at Ireland's Galway Garda Station

Galway Garda Station in Ireland was evacuated for four hours last week after a package of suspicious white powder was delivered to the station, officials said.

The package was removed by specialists from the army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in a sealed containment unit for analysis.

The substance was shown to be non-hazardous by army analysis, officials said, noting that there was every reason to take the threat "very seriously" and that fears had arisen that it was anthrax or another bioterror threat.

The package, which had been delivered in the morning mail, was discovered at around 9 a.m. in the District Office on Mill Street.

Officials said the  alarm was immediately raised and that the station was evacuated and sealed off as an army EOD team was called in from Athlone.

The scene was made safe at around 1 p.m., and the EOD unit's slow-moving specialist truck left with a Garda escort for the Garda Technical Bureau at Phoenix Park in Dublin.

This is not the first scare for Galway Garda Station of late. In February 2009, the station and surrounding streets had to be evacuated when a pipe bomb with almost half a kilogram of explosives was found in the underwear of a prisoner who was arrested on suspicion of being a drug smuggler.