Anthrax train scare: Belgian commuters evacuated & disinfected after ‘white powder’ found
The powder is currently being investigated by authorities.
The alarm was raised around 5:00 PM on Wednesday evening after a train conductor reportedly found luggage containing bags of white powder. Railway police were then notified and an anthrax alarm procedure began, local reports said.
Image from #Denderleeuw (flemish part of #Belgium) where a chemical risk has been detected in a train that was going to #Brussels airport. You can see the @SNCB trains in the background as well as the NRBC unit handling the possibly contaminated package for further expertise. pic.twitter.com/H44L3Yl0a4— 🇮🇱 Samuel Cardillo (LeDomaine) (@ElDomaine) November 6, 2019
Passengers were evacuated from the train at around 7:30 PM.
Some told local media that they had been given water and something to eat during the wait. The powder has been sent to a lab for investigation and it may not be known until Thursday what exactly is contained in it, Denderleeuw mayor Jo Fonck told media.
He said that the package had not been damaged, which, luckily, made the possibility of contamination "extremely small."
The substance was used in the 2001 "Amerithrax" attacks, when letters containing anthrax spores were sent to news organizations and politicians' offices in the US, killing five people in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
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