Package worries prove false

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 20, 2001

A suspected biological virus in a package delivered to ZetusRoad home was a false alarm for emergency services personnelWednesday, said Clifford Galey, Lincoln County Civil Defensecoordinator.

The incident stemmed from an apparent rumor the homeowner hadheard.

“I want people to know there was nothing to this,” Galey saidfollowing the incident that ended around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

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Galey said the woman, who was not identified, received a smallblue package in the mail Tuesday. After hearing talk about abiological virus circulating in blue envelopes, the woman put thepackage in a bag by a tree and called the sheriff’s office around4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Officials from the civil defense, Zetus Volunteer FireDepartment, sheriff’s office, Mississippi Emergency ManagementAgency, state health department and FBI responded, Galey said.

“In light of what happened, we treated it seriously,” Galeysaid.

After setting up a security perimeter, Galey said authoritiesinspected the package and also contacted postal officials.

A postal carrier identified the package as one of many he haddelivered in the area the day before. Galey said the package hadcome from a New Orleans crisis center asking for a donation.

“It took time, but it was a process of elimination,” Galey saidabout how officials handled the situation.

Regarding the biological virus suspicions, Galey said he spokewith law enforcement officials who were unaware of any suchactivity.

“I haven’t been able to confirm that there’s anything to that,”Galey said.