Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 12:00 AM |

Powder in package sends three to hospital

Elisabeth Nardi and Justin Hill DAILY HERALD


An unknown white powdery substance sent three people to the hospital Monday after it came out of a package in the mailroom of Symantec, the computer software company in northeast Orem.

A female employee started to feel sick after she opened the package in the company mailroom and the white powdery substance had come out of it. HazMat personnel were able to determine that the substance was not anthrax, but it was unclear what it was.

The package will be sent to a lab, and it is expected its contents will be determined in a couple of days.

"We were able to rule out some of the bigger terrorist things," said Orem Fire Capt. Lamar Woods.

The woman and two other company employees were taken to Timpanogos Regional Hospital, where they were treated and
released. Their names were not released.

Canyon Park business park, where Symantec is located, was evacuated just after 5:15 p.m.

Jerry Gowen, company spokesman, said the park was closed down as a precaution and will remain closed all day Tuesday.

Nothing like this has ever happened to the business before, Gowen said. He said he doesn't know why this would happen.

The hospital went into disaster mode, said hospital spokeswoman Jacque Brown, and some people were directed to other area hospitals.