Navy facility evacuated after discovery of ‘suspicious substance’

The U.S. Navy briefly evacuated a facility in Arlington, Va., Thursday after a “suspicious substance” was found in the mailroom, Navy officials said.

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The substance on the suspicious letter tested negative for hazardous material and the building was reopened, the Navy said in a statement.

About 800 people were evacuated from building No. 12 at the Naval Support Facility in Arlington a little before 10:25 a.m. Thursday after the suspicious substance was found.

The Arlington County Hazmat Response Team was brought in and conducted tests on the letter, which came back negative, the Navy said.

The suspicious letter was then turned over to Navy authorities and those who had evacuated were let back into the building.

The suspicious letter at the Naval facility is the latest in a series of mail scares after two letters, one sent to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and the other to President Obama, tested positive for the poison ricin this week. Both were intercepted before reaching the intended destination.

FBI agents arrested Mississippi resident Paul Kevin Curtis Wednesday evening on suspicion of sending the letters to Wicker and Obama.

On Wednesday, the Hart and Russell Senate office buildings were locked down after two suspicious envelopes and a package were found. The tests on those were negative and the buildings were reopened to the public after a little more than an hour.

Also on Wednesday, Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) reported receiving suspicious envelopes at their state offices. Those letters also tested negative for any dangerous substances.

The FBI has said there is no connection between the ricin letters and the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

— Published at 12:12 p.m. and last updated at 1:28 p.m.

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