White powder ruled not hazardous in Bryan County Courthouse lock - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

White powder ruled not hazardous in Bryan County Courthouse lockdown

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DURANT, OK -- It was a scary and long day for people at the Bryan County Courthouse Monday. After a threatening letter showed up in the clerk's office with a white powder, people were evacuated from the building while others were kept in quarantine. As authorities scrambled trying find out what the substance was.

Those held in quarantine were forced to stay on the courthouse for about seven hours Monday. They were eventually released after investigators tested the material and gave the all clear.

“We had food coming in, water, we had ambulances standing by, the police department, everything just came together real well," said Bryan County Sheriff Ken Golden. “I’m extremely happy with how everything went.”  

Sheriff Golden says emergency crews did all they could do before calling in the 63rd National Guard from Norman, Oklahoma. The first round of guardsmen showed up at five p.m. then another wave pulled in an hour later. After gearing up in hazmat suits and entering the court house, it was determined that the substance was not hazardous but not with full certainty.

"We can give them a 99% solution on what it is,” said Lieutenant Colonel Scott Houck, “but we're not a presumptive lab. We can't tell them definitively that this is what it is we have to send that off to a distant lab."

Guardsmen say they're not sure how long it will take to get back definitive results. In the meantime, those involved should be aware of potential side effects and reporting them right away.

Deputies say this is still under investigation. It is unknown where the letter came for or what the cause behind it is. Officials are hesitant to reveal what the letter said.

"Anything that might have been in there that we divulge now,” said Sheriff Golden. “Right now we'd like to hold off with any information with that. Until we can kind track back and see where this comes from."

The sheriff's office says the letter was delivered to the clerk's office sometime last week, but wasn't opened until Monday. Two tests have been conducted, but the National Guard will continue testing those samples as part of the investigation.