Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Information Regarding Suspicious Packages Received Around Madison

October 12, 2001
Topf Wells, (608) 266-9069 (work) Ryan Mulcahy, (608) 266-4611
County Executive

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Madison Mayor Sue Bauman today called for calm and caution in light of the discovery of suspicious packages at several area locations, including the American Family Insurance facility at 302 North Walbridge Avenue. The following information represents the latest information on the incidents: American Family Insurance: Preliminary tests on substance recovered at the scene done at State Lab of Hygiene indicated no bacteria were present. Approximately two-dozen people were evaluated at the scene and were released at the scene. Four people from American Family with direct exposure to substance and one paramedic were transported to UW Hospital for decontamination. Emergency personnel have left the scene. Certco, a grocery distribution center at Highway PD and Verona Road in Fitchburg: Substance, a roll of quarters, has been transported to State Lab of Hygiene. Test results are pending. Public Health officials believe no one received significant exposure to substance in question and that the location was not contaminated outside the immediate area of where the substance was discovered. Department of Military Affairs, Wright Street, Madison: Suspicious package was found, but not opened. Was turned over to US Postal Inspectors. GEF-1, State Office Building: Suspicious gray powdery substance reported in mailroom. Emergency response officials still on the scene. Two people with possible exposure to substance, being evaluated and monitored at the scene at this time, pending test results. Samples have been collected and are being transported to State Lab of Hygiene for testing. Falk and Bauman noted that Dane County and City of Madison personnel have trained well to respond to potential incidents involving chemical or biological attacks. Coincidentally, city and county officials and other emergency services personnel yesterday completed a very successful training exercise responding to a biological attack scenario. "We are currently assessing these incidents. It is necessary to evaluate the source and seriousness of the incidents. We are prepared to protect the public safety, " Falk and Bauman said. Citizens can help themselves and emergency official by taking the following precautions: Stay calm. Be careful of any suspicious packages or envelopes in the mail, especially if you work at a larger business.