JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A HAZMAT team has cleared the scene at 1605 Prudential Drive, where someone discovered a white powdery substance in a letter delivered Tuesday.
A statement from the office of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) confirmed that Rubio, who has an office in the building, received a letter with a powdery substance inside.
"A short while ago, Senator Rubio's office received an update from the U.S. Capitol Police, " said Alex Burgos, a spokesman for Rubio. "The FBI on the ground in Jacksonville has confirmed that field screening was conducted by the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue HAZMAT squad, and all field test results were negative. In other words, the powder in the mail was harmless. At this time, they cannot confirm exactly what the substance is, only that it is not hazardous."
In a phone interview, Burgos said Sen. Rubio is relieved the staff is safe.
"He's saddened and upset that someone would mail a letter like this with a substance like this in the hopes of causing panic and alarm," Burgos said. "It really is a sad reminder of what people are capable of."
According to Burgos, it appears that this letter is similar to the one mailed to Senator Bill Nelson's Jacksonville office yesterday.
Rubio's staff didn't show any signs of exposure or irritation from the substance, Burgos said and he didn't know if the letter included with the substance was threatening, as it was with Nelson's letter.
That letter also contained a powder, which investigators later determined wasn't harmful.
"The authorities have determined the white powdery substance sent to Sen. Nelson's office inside a threat letter today was corn starch, not anthrax," a release from Nelson's office read. "Nelson was in the Jacksonville office today but had left by the time the letter was opened by a staff member."
Burgos said Rubio's office contacted U.S. Capitol Police, which contacted local law enforcement and the FBI to assist in this investigation. The FBI is investigating both incidents, according to Special Agent Jeffrey Westcott.
First Coast News