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Wednesday, 28 August, 2002, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
'Anthrax hoax' at Gore's office
Fire-fighters dumping a bleach and water solution in the sewer outside the hotel and office complex
Emergency workers decontaminated the office
US authorities are investigating a possible hoax anthrax mailing at former Vice-President Al Gore's Nashville offices after suspicious white powder spilled from an envelope.

Rescue workers in biohazard suits converged on the office in a complex near Vanderbilt University on Tuesday after an office manager discovered the powder while opening mail, said Nashville assistant fire chief Kim Lawson.

Former vice president Al Gore
Gore was on holiday when the envelope arrived
The worker, whose name was not released, has shown no symptoms of the disease, Ms Lawson said.

The staff member was decontaminated as a precaution, checked by public health workers, and sent home.

About 25 people were working on the floor of the building when the suspicious envelope was discovered, Ms Lawson said.

Mr Gore was in northern California with his family at the time of the incident.

Tests run

The envelope has been sent to a lab for tests.

The former vice president's offices will remain shut until results are received as a precaution.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents say they believe the envelope to be a hoax, and are investigating the letter's possible source.

Since the 11 September terror attacks, hoax anthrax mailings have become a common occurrence in Nashville.

"We've responded to well over 400 of this same scenario since 9-11," Ms Lawson said. "We've had a lot of practice at it."


Guide to the disease that is causing panic
See also:

06 Aug 02 | Americas
11 Aug 02 | Americas
24 Jun 02 | Americas
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