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Suspicious package leads to scare at Salt Lake City radio station

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(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Fire Department and Hazardous Materials Response Team investigate a possible ricin letter sent to radio stations at Trolley Corners buiding at 700 East and 500 South Monday December 30.

By Bob Mims

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Dec 30 2013 01:56PM
Updated Dec 30, 2013 10:38PM

Much ado about nothing? A "suspicious package" call to X96 Radio’s offices Monday morning appears to be have been just that.

But an official determination won’t be made until lab tests confirm the initial findings that the package contained nothing more suspicious than a CD and a business card bearing an unspecified and somewhat incoherent message.

Salt Lake City Fire Department spokesman Jasen Asay said hazmat workers "suited up" for the 10 a.m. response to the station, at 515 S. 700 East, "just as a precaution.

"It initially came in as a possible ricin call, but hazmat went in and investigated and found no powder or trace of any other harmful chemical," Asay said.

As a matter of routine and procedure, however, the envelope, CD and business card will be tested further, he added.

Brett Leifson, chief financial officer for X96 owner Broadway Media, said a station employee found the suspicious envelope while opening mail Monday morning. He confirmed it was addressed from out of state, contained a CD and a card.

The station regularly gets CDs in the mail from promoters and "budding artists," Leifson said, so that was not unusual.

However, the card apparently had writing on it that the employee thought "was from a crazy person." The paper, the employee thought, also "felt funny." Finally, when he Googled the name on the card, it purportedly linked to an undisclosed person associated with past ricin incidents, the employee said.

Police were called, leading to the SLCFD’s hazmat crew eventually responding.

After a brief lockdown of the offices, the scene was cleared and station operations resumed as normal.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims

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