Envelope with unknown powder found at U.S. consulate in Rio de Janeiro

10:37, April 14, 2011      

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An envelope with unidentified powder was found on Wednesday at the U.S. consulate building in Rio de Janeiro.

The consulate staff called the municipal fire brigade, which retrieved the envelope and sent the contents to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), world-renowned for its health research.

The powder in the envelope will be tested and the results will be known in a few days.

The consulate said there was no reason to believe the contents of the envelope were dangerous and that it followed the proper procedure by calling the authorities.

"The consulate has no indication that the envelope contains any harmful substances, but, as a precaution, the item was sent to the authorities for

evaluations and tests," the consulate said in a statement.

Such precautions are taken due to the possibility of the powder being Anthrax, which is highly dangerous and potentially lethal. In 2001, Anthrax powder was sent by mail to several media companies and politicians in the United States, causing five deaths.

Source: Xinhua
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