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LOCKDOWN ENDS: White Powder At Capitol

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A 3 hour lock-down comes to an end at the State Capitol Tuesday night after white powder spills from an envelope sent to a lawmaker.

It happened in the middle of debate on a bill to ban traffic cameras. Des Moines Democrat Ako Abdul Samad opened an envelope and white powder spilled out. Officials say the envelope also contained a threatening and offensive letter, which is one of the reasons they said they took such serious action.

However, the Iowa Hazardous Material Team didn’t arrive at the Capitol until about 30 minutes after the envelope was opened. They said someone complaining of a headache prompted the call. The fact nothing was done sooner did raise questions. But state patrol said troopers inside the Capitol at the time followed procedures to the best of their abilities.

Hazmat was the first to arrive. FBI, the state Postal Service, and State Patrol were also there. The National Guard entity CST, or Civil Support Team was also there. They helped administer the tests to the substance. Four tests were done total.

The powder was proven safe. Officials are not releasing what it was at this time.

Officials say there were no injuries, or medical emergencies.

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