Powder sent to N.C. capitol tests negative for anthrax

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, a suspicious powder found in an envelope earlier this week at the North Carolina State Capitol turned out to be harmless.

The possible bioterrorism incident did, however, prompt an evacuation of the capitol building Monday afternoon, the newspaper reported. The North Carolina Division for Public Health tested the material, which was found when someone opened a letter. The tests determined that the substance was not a hazardous material, according to the report.

The letter was addressed to Governor Beverly Perdue, according to officials. Two staff members who were exposed to the letter were treated outside of the building but showed no signs of an infection.

There will be a final round of testing by the public health division to determine that the powder did not contain traces of anthrax, ricin or other possible hazardous materials or viruses.

Whether or not the powder is determined with full certainty to not have contained a hazardous material, a criminal investigation has been opened by the Capitol Police to try and find out who sent the letter to the governor's office, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. The capitol was evacuated Monday after the letter was opened by a staff member.

The capitol remained closed to the public a day later, though most employees returned to work, according to the newspaper.