Anthrax hoax at Defra

21 August 2001

‘Anthrax’ hoax at Defra

By FWi staff

A PACKAGE which it was claimed contained anthrax was sent to the headquarters of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on Monday (20 August).

Staff were evacuated from the DEFRA headquarters in Smith Square, Westminster in London after the package was received.

Thirteen workers were isolated from colleagues amid fears that they could have come into contact with the substance.

In a another incident, parts of St Andrews University in Scotland were also evacuated after a similar package was received.

Scotland Yard was passed an email threat that four packages would be sent, reports The Daily Telegraph.

A London hotel and a national newspaper were also threatened by email, but no packages were received on Monday.

The police said that the warning indicated that while the substance would purport to be anthrax, it would turn out to be harmless.

Tests confirmed that the package received by DEFRA did not contain anthrax and the 13 members of staff were given the all clear.

  • The Daily Telegraph, 21 August, 2001, page 5


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