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Authorities evacuate first floor of Tampa courthouse annex due to suspicious package

TAMPA — Authorities evacuated the first floor of the courthouse annex Wednesday in downtown Tampa after a suspicious letter was reported in a judicial office, officials said.

Firefighters and police were called about 3:30 p.m. when someone found a letter that contained a white powder, fire officials said.

Five people who were present when it was opened quarantined themselves in an office while a HazMat team investigated. Police blocked traffic in front of the annex on Jefferson Street, between Kennedy Boulevard and Twiggs Street.

The annex, which sits across the street from the main Edgecomb Courthouse, houses several criminal courtrooms on its first floor.

The powder was deemed non-hazardous. The floor was reopened about 5:30 p.m.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, which provides courthouse security, will continue to investigate the letter's origin, authorities said.

Authorities evacuate first floor of Tampa courthouse annex due to suspicious package 05/17/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 6:03pm]
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