The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development is instructing school districts across the state to be on the lookout for suspicious envelopes containing white powder. Department spokesman Eric Fry says four school districts have received letters in the past few days and the Chugach and Tanana district offices received the first letters for a total of six districts so far. It was not immediately clear when the first letters arrived, but Fry said the FBI asked the department to notify school districts to be on the lookout for envelopes from an unknown sender in Texas with a Dallas postmark. This week, the Kenai Peninsula, Copper River, Southeast Island and the Juneau school districts have all received similar letters.
FBI Special Agent Eric Gonzales says the FBI was called when the first four were targeted.
“And we responded with state and local law enforcement as well as HAZMAT teams and the postal service to these different incidents and have collected the letters and provided them to the labs, public health service.”
Gonzales says results from two tests found the substance was not hazardous. Tests on the other letters have not yet been concluded.
School officials are being urged to leave any suspicious envelopes sealed and call the department of education, the FBI or local law enforcement immediately.
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