Suspicious Letters Force HazMat Responses in Two Central Texas Cities

By: Jesse Moloney and Paul J. Gately Email
By: Jesse Moloney and Paul J. Gately Email

KILLEEN (August 1, 2011)—Two suspicious letters, one addressed to the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and the other to the water office in Killeen yielded some suspicious contents Monday morning that resulted in a responses from police, firefighters and a HazMat units.

Killeen police spokeswoman Carroll Smith said a letter addressed to the water office contained a suspicious piece of material that bore a stain and emitted a foul odor.

Copperas Cove Chamber manager Marty Smith said a bubble-type envelope, addressed by hand, was received Monday and when the secretary opened the envelope she noticed a foul odor.

The Secretary dumped the envelope into a desk and found it contained a stained piece of 2-by-4-inch gauze that emitted a foul odor.

Smith said she called police who responded to the office on Robertson Ave., along with fire units, and the building was immediately evacuated.

The scenario at the Killeen office was much the same, but rather than ordering an evacuation, police decided to quarantine the 56 people inside the building.

A HazMat unit began testing the material and after a couple of hours reported there was no indication of dangerous material, but the building remained on lockdown until about 4 p.m. when those inside were allowed to leave.

Police in Killeen and Copperas Cove still have not said they believe the incidents are connected.

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