Suspicious letter, white powder in U.S. congressman's NY office

08:15, March 26, 2010      

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At least nine people were decontaminated for exposure to a possibly toxic substance on Thursday at a New York City office of U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D- NY, following discovery of a suspicious letter with an unidentified white powder, officials said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The letter was found shortly after noon EDT, in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, the easternmost borough of New York City, officials said. It was reported shortly after other threats and alleged attacks on Democratic congressmen, Democratic Party offices or other locations associated with Democrats, following passage of U.S. President Barack Obama's Health Care Reform package earlier this week.

Weiner actively campaigned for the legislation and was particularly known for his accusation, "The Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry."

In late afternoon, a New York Fire Department spokesman told Xinhua, "five men and four women were decontaminated or in the process of being decontaminated."

The spokesman said there were no apparent injuries and none of the patients was being taken to hospital.

"Earlier today an envelope containing white powder and a threatening letter was delivered to my community office in Kew Gardens," Weiner said in a statement posted on his website. "My first priority is the safety of my staff and neighbors, and the authorities are currently taking steps to investigate and resolve the situation."

Source:Xinhua
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