VIDEO: Anthrax Scare at GVB; Letter Contained Powdery Substance, Tests Prove Negative

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Guam – The Guam Visitor’s Bureau was evacuated this morning [Wednesday] after a staff member opened a letter which contained a powdery substance.

GVB General Manager Karl Pangelinan said the letter indicated that the substance was anthrax, but tests on the substance proved NEGATIVE. The powdery substance was NOT anthrax, said Pangelinan.

Pangelinan said that the first line on the envelope of the letter was addressed to “Mayors Office.”  The second line he said was addressed to GVB, with GVB’s Tumon address following.

The letter was not addressed specifically to any person, he said.

The staff member  who opened the letter, and 2 other staff members who came into contact with the letter were examined by medical personnel, said Pangelinan, and all of them were cleared, none suffered any negative health effects.

Pangelinan said that he observed the letter and its powdery contents from 6 feet away and immediately contacted authorities.  He commended Guam Fire and Police as well as the FBI for their quick and professional response. 

VIEW video of the GVB evacuation scene shot by “Gerry On-the-Go” below:

The GVB building was evacuated about 8:30am. San Vitores Road was closed down from the traffic circle at the top of the hill to the Marriott hotel intersection.

A Hazardous Materials team suited up and went inside to inspect the contents of the letter. The substance was later determined not to be hazardous. However Panglinan did not know  whether authorities had determined just what the powdery substance was.

The all clear was sounded about 12:30pm.

It is not yet known who sent the letter. The FBI has taken over the case.  

Time Line of Today’s Incident:

8:30 am:  Guam Police cordoned off  the western end of Pale San Vitores at 8:30am. GPD has blocked all traffic in both directions from the traffic circle at the top of  the hill, down San Vitores to the Marriott intersection.

9:00am:  There is no through traffic being allowed along that stretch of San Vitores past GVB at this time [Wednesday 9am].  Guam Police have blocked  Rt.14 Bishop Flores Loop to JFK Hill and all side streets (Ypao Road). No one allowed within that area.

10:15am: At 10:15am, Lt. Artero told PNC that the Haz Mat team is just suiting up and about to go into the building. “It is a slow and deliberate response,” he said because “there is no immediate threat.”  

10:25am: 3 Guam National Guard trucks arrive at scene. GFD Lt. Artero says National Guard CST component on scene to provide support and help in identification.

10:45am: FBI on site now to assist in investigation of  suspicious package at GVB.

12:30pm: All clear sounded.

 

[photos from GFD FaceBook page]

 

[photos from GFD FaceBook page]  

Guam Fire and Police have set up a command post at Takagi and Associates across from the GVB building.

Stay tuned to K-57 and the Pacific News Center for updates on this breaking story.

[PNC photos by “Gerry On-the-Go”]