By BBC News
Two packages containing a suspicious substance have been found at a Pentagon mail screening facility and sent to the FBI analysis, officials say.
The envelopes, which contained the deadly poison ricin according to officials cited by US media, were discovered on Monday.
The screening area is not inside the main building, which contains offices of high ranking military officials.
The facility is now under quarantine, defense officials said on Tuesday.
(Officials at the Pentagon say at least two pieces of mail sent to the facility tested positive for the deadly poison Ricin. Courtesy of MSNBC News and YouTube. Posted on Oct 2, 2018.)
The packages were detected by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, according to Pentagon Col Rob Manning.
All mail delivered on Monday is currently under quarantine, and “poses no threat to Pentagon personnel,” he said.
The envelopes were addressed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson, US media report.
Mr Mattis was away in Paris at the time.
Up to 25,000 people go to work at the Pentagon every day.
Ricin is made from the leftover by-products of castor oil.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “It would take a deliberate act to make ricin and use it to poison people.”
The federal agency said it can be manufactured into a weapon in the form of a powder, mist or pellet.
Two people were taken to the hospital after apparently being exposed to a white powdery substance in an office building at 3200 SW Fwy. The 9th floor of the Phoenix Tower has been evacuated as HFD HazMat is responding to the scene working to determine the nature of the substance.
— Houston Fire Dept (@HoustonFire) October 2, 2018
Also on Tuesday, two people at Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s office in Houston, Texas, were taken to hospital after coming into contact with a “white powdery substance”, officials say.
(CNN’s Tom Foreman gets down to the bottom of the toxin ricin and how it affects the body. Courtesy of CNN and YouTube. Posted on Apr 18, 2013.)
The Houston Fire Department tweeted that a hazardous materials crew is on scene at the evacuated office building.
Houston Police said they were taking over the investigation into the letter, which comes as Mr Cruz is locked in a fierce election battle against Democrat Beto O’Rourke.
A spokeswoman for Mr Cruz told the Associated Press that no staff were affected by the incident.
Original post https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45725535