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Is that anthrax? Nope, just cocaine

Published October 11, 2009 1:18 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The University of Utah emergency room was locked down for more than an hour Sunday morning after staff found a white powdery substance that turned out to be cocaine.

It was found about 8 a.m. inside five plastic bags carried by a male trauma patient, said hospital spokeswoman Ryann Rasmussen. Patients were diverted to other local hospitals while the ER was locked down.

Salt Lake City Fire Department haz-mat teams tested the substance, found it was not harmful, and reopened the ER about 9:30 a.m. It was later confirmed to be cocaine.

"University Hospital staff is very highly trained to be very vigilant and very alert of things that may not be right or may cause concern, in order to be very cautious of patient and staff safety," Rasmussen said. The man was put under police custody.