- Associated Press - Monday, September 13, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police briefly evacuated part of the U.S. Capitol on Monday after a powdery substance was found in the visitors gallery overlooking the House chamber.

U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider said the gallery and surrounding areas were cleared “out of an abundance of caution” while police investigated the substance. It was reopened less than an hour later. Ms. Schneider said the nature of the substance was unclear but it was determined not to be hazardous.

Reporters in the House press office overlooking the chamber also were asked to move to other areas of the building, which were not affected.

Ms. Schneider said only a few House pages were in the gallery when the substance was discovered.

 

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