Court sealed off in anthrax scare

21st November 2003, Comments 0 comments

21 November 2003 , AMSTERDAM — Breda Court was sealed off on Friday and about 400 people ordered to remain inside the building after a suspect "anthrax" letter addressed to a judge was discovered in the postal room.The letter was written in English and contained a suspect powder. Alarmed authorities prevented anyone from entering the building for several hours and urged the 400 people trapped inside to restrict their movements.Police gave the all clear at about 2pm, but anyone who possibly came in contact

21 November 2003

AMSTERDAM — Breda Court was sealed off on Friday and about 400 people ordered to remain inside the building after a suspect "anthrax" letter addressed to a judge was discovered in the postal room.

The letter was written in English and contained a suspect powder. Alarmed authorities prevented anyone from entering the building for several hours and urged the 400 people trapped inside to restrict their movements.

Police gave the all clear at about 2pm, but anyone who possibly came in contact with the letter were ordered to shower before leaving the building, Dutch associated press ANP reported.

A police spokeswoman said it is standard procedure that a building is hermetically sealed after a suspect letter is found. One man who grow tired of waiting left the court building via the emergency exit and authorities failed to apprehend him.

A laboratory in Lelystad will examine the contents of the letter to determine if it is laced with deadly anthrax spores. Initial results are expected later on Friday.

The Breda incident comes after the Dordrecht Appeals Court was also temporarily sealed off on Thursday after a suspect letter was found. The judge to whom the letter was addressed has since lodged a police complaint.

Meanwhile, the offices of the national driving test agency CBR in Rijswijk were recently evacuated after the discovery of a suspect letter.  One staff member became unwell after opening the letter, but CIDC research institute tests confirmed it did not contain anthrax.

After the September 11 attacks in 2001, five people died and 17 were injured in the US when anthrax in powder form was sent through the mail, sparking global concern of biological terror attacks.

Envelopes with white powder soon started arriving in mailboxes right across the globe, including the Netherlands. Most were found to be harmless and Dutch authorities prosecuted several people for sending "joke" anthrax letters.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news







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