'White powder' at federal courthouse found to be harmless

A FDNY HazMat unit in front of Cadman Plaza East on Tillary Street. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

A white powdery substance that had been discovered at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse at 225 Cadman Plaza on Tuesday afternoon has turned out to be bascially harmless, although further tests are required.

More than a dozen NYPD, HazMat and Fire Department vehicles arrived outside the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse at 225 Cadman Plaza East late Tuesday afternoon after an envelope containing a white, powdery substance was delivered to the U.S. District Court Clerk’s Office within the courthouse.

"The person who sent it was someone with an agenda," said U.S. Marshal James Elcik of the U.S. Marshal's Service, Eastern District of New York. "We have an indication of who might have done this, and we are following leads." He would not comment on a report in Newsday that quoted a court officer to the effect that the letter came from a pro se defendant in a case.

Elcik added that a sample of the powder was turned over to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which is conducting further testing.

On Tuesday, the Marshal’s Service quarantined the affected area, which had about 20 people inside, and shut down the ventilation systems. People elsewhere in the courthouse, which is also known as the Theodore Roosevelt Courthouse, were allowed to leave the building normally, as they would at the end of every working day.

Late on Tuesday, an FDNY spokesman said that “20 patients were being examined.”

Revisions were made regarding the nature of the white substance, among other quotes from FDNY officials.

FDNY at the scene in front of the federal courthouse. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

HazMat is ready to decontaminate anything if necessary. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

May 7, 2013 - 4:45pm
Latest Revision Time: 
May 8, 2013 - 1:15pm


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