SOB evacuated, powder reported found

Updated story Oct. 11, 2013 at 5:15

To read our latest story on this, click here.

Updated story Oct. 11, 2013 at 4:15

Officials now say there was no threat from a suspicious white powder found in a package at the State Office Building in Juneau on Friday.

The incident prompted the building to be evacuated shortly after 10:00 a.m.

Juneau Fire Marshal Dan Jager says the FBI determined the substance was some sort of packing material.

“They were able to confirm with the company that was on the shipping label what it was,” Jager says. “And they were able to confirm that, yes, this company down south did send a box to that address, and it was a packaging material.”

FBI officials could not be reached for comment.

Governor Sean Parnell’s Spokeswoman Sharon Leighow says the package was sent by a pharmaceutical company from California and contained tax documents. Employees with the Department of Revenue on the 11th floor of the State Office Building opened it at about 9:45 a.m.

Leighow says four employees were thought to have been exposed to the substance.

The building was closed Friday while a hazmat team secured the package.

Leighow says it will re-open as usual on Monday.

Updated story Oct. 11, 2013 at 3:06

The Juneau State Office Building was evacuated this morning (Friday) after a package containing a suspicious white powder was found on the 11th floor.

Governor Sean Parnell’s Spokeswoman Sharon Leighow says employees with the Department of Revenue opened the package at about 9:45 a.m.

“At that time the Juneau fire department was called and the State Office Building was subsequently evacuated. Four people were exposed to the substance,” Leighow says. “The package was removed from the building. The FBI will be transporting the package to Anchorage and it will be delivered to the State Crime Lab, where it will be analyzed over the weekend.”

Leighow says the package had a California postmark, but she did not know any other details about where it originated and who it was sent to.

Capital City Fire and Rescue ordered the entire building be evacuated shortly after 10:00 a.m. Initially, employees were told to check the state website at 1 p.m. to see whether they should return to work. Shortly after 1 o’ clock, the state announced the building would remain closed for the rest of the day.

As of this afternoon (Friday), Leighow did not know when it would re-open.

“State employees are urged to check the state website over the weekend to find any updates that we may have,” she says.

The state website is Employees can also call 1-877-326-5551 for updates on the building’s status.

Updated story Oct. 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm

State officials just posted a new notice on the state website about the State Office Building remaining closed for Friday afternoon through Sunday. State employees are being asked to check the website or call the closure phone line at 1-877-326-5551 before departing for work at the SOB on Monday.

Original story Oct. 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

The State Office Building in downtown Juneau has been evacuated for a report of a suspicious box with white powder that was opened on the 11th floor.

It’s unclear when the evacuation order was issued throughout the whole building on Friday morning. Some employees were still departing the SOB after 10 o’clock Friday morning.

Juneau Police Officers have set up a perimeter around the building.

Capital City Fire and Rescue crews have entered the building and a hazardous materials team is collecting samples.

State workers are being asked to check the state website at 1 o’clock for an announcement about whether they would be allowed to return to work for Friday afternoon.

(This is a developing story. Check back later for more details.)

From the Associated Press –

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The state office building in downtown Juneau has been evacuated.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell says employees on the building’s 11th floor opened a package Friday morning containing what she called suspicious white powder. Sharon Leighow says about half a cup of powder fell out when the package was opened, and she believed six employees were in the area when the package was opened.

She did not know who the package was addressed to and did not immediately know how many employees were evacuated. About 600 people work in the building.

She says Juneau police and fire personnel responded.





Recent headlines

  • dollar bill money macro

    Per diems driving special session costs

    Lawmakers who represent areas outside Juneau receive $295 for each day of the special session. Juneau lawmakers receive $221.25 per day.
  • Caroline Hoover proudly pins an Alaska Territorial Guard medal on the front of her father's parka during an official discharge ceremony held Oct. 17 in Kipnuk, Alaska. David Martin is one of three surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard's Kipnuk unit. A total of 59 residents of Kipnuk, who volunteered to defend Alaska in the event of a Japanese invasion during World War II, were recognized during the ceremony. Kipnuk residents who served with the Alaska Territorial Guard from 1942-1947 were members of a U.S. Army component organized in response to attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. (Photo by Jerry Walton, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs cultural resource manager and native liaison/public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

    16 Alaska Territorial Guard vets to be honored in Anchorage

    Sixteen veterans of the Alaska Territorial Guard will be honored at a discharge ceremony today. Four of them are from Western Alaska.
  • Don Andrew Roguska looks out from an upstairs window of an historic Juneau house he bought in 2016 to restore. Zoning regulations have prevented him from rebuilding in the same style. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

    Juneau mulls relaxing zoning rules for historic houses

    The historic houses in Juneau and Douglas were predominately built by miners and fishermen long before today's zoning was put into place. That's prevented homeowners from restoring or rebuilding homes in these neighborhoods without running into conflict with the city's zoning laws -- a temporary fix may be on the way.
  • Young joins Afghanistan war skeptics in Congress

    Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young wants to know why Americans are still fighting in Afghanistan. He has co-sponsored a bill that would end funding for the war in a year, unless the president and Congress affirm the need for it.