Is that anthrax? Nope, just cocaine
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.
By Lindsay Whitehurst
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 10/11/2009 01:23:30 PM MDT