Second anthrax hoax letter sent to Florida senator

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that a white powdery substance delivered in a letter to Sen. Marco Rubio’s office in Jacksonville, Fla., on Tuesday is not hazardous or harmful.

The letter appeared similar to one mailed to Senator Bill Nelson’s Jacksonville office on Tuesdayl, First Coast News reports. Members of Rubio’s staff showed no signs of exposure or irritation from the substance and it was not immediately known if the letter included a threat as it did with Nelson’s office.

"A short while ago, Senator Rubio's office received an update from the U.S. Capitol Police," Alex Burgos, a spokesman for Rubio, said, according to First Coast News. "The FBI on the ground in Jacksonville has confirmed that field screening was conducted by the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue HAZMAT squad, and all field test results were negative. In other words, the powder in the mail was harmless. At this time, they cannot confirm exactly what the substance is, only that it is not hazardous."

Sen. Rubio (R-Fla.) said he was relieved that his staff was safe after the incident.

"He's saddened and upset that someone would mail a letter like this with a substance like this in the hopes of causing panic and alarm," Burgos said, according to First Coast News. "It really is a sad reminder of what people are capable of."

The powder accompanying the letter to Nelson’s office was also determined to be harmless.

"The authorities have determined the white powdery substance sent to Sen. Nelson's office inside a threat letter today was corn starch, not anthrax," a release from Nelson's office said, according to First Coast News. "Nelson was in the Jacksonville office today but had left by the time the letter was opened by a staff member."

Rubio’s office contacted U.S. Capitol Police, which then contacted the FBI and local law enforcement in the investigation. The FBI is investigating both incidents.