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“Over the course of years we’ve had some situations where there have been ricin scares,” Donahoe said. “Until this date, there’s never been any actually proved that have gone through the system.”

Even during the flurry of concern, normal business continued across most of the Capitol and its office buildings, with tour groups passing through and visitors streaming in and out of Wicker’s office.

Amy Keough of Stow, Mass., and her family were searching for an open entrance to the Russell Senate Office building and walked by a U.S. Capitol Police hazardous materials vehicle. The Keoughs had been visiting Washington for several days, but Monday’s marathon bombing was on their minds.

“We don’t know really what it is that’s going on,” Keough said. “We’re from Massachusetts, so right now anything is possible, with all the events in Boston.”

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