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Report of Envelope Filled With White Powder at UC Santa Barbara Proves Unfounded

FBI, university police, hazardous-materials resources called to the scene at Cheadle Hall, which was evacuated

Hazardous materials crews and the FBI responded to a report of an envelope with a white powder substance found at UCSB’s Cheadle Hall Monday.
Hazardous materials crews and the FBI responded to a report of an envelope with a white powder substance found at UCSB’s Cheadle Hall Monday.  (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

UC Santa Barbara's Cheadle Hall was evacuated Monday afternoon following a report that an envelope containing a unknown white powder had been found there, but investigation eventually revealed the report was unfounded.

"It's a complete false alarm," said Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, shortly after 7 p.m, some three hours after the initial report.

Once hazmat crews made their way to the top floor of Cheadle Hall — which is the university's administration building and houses Chancellor Henry Yang's office — they found an envelope containing only a five-page letter, Zaniboni said.

The person who made the original report backtracked on the report when questioned later, Zaniboni said, adding that he did not know if the person was an employee or a student.

Earlier in the day, university spokesman George Foulsham said that "Cheadle Hall has been evacuated out an abundance of caution after an envelope with a white powdery substance was found on the fifth floor."

UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang was among the people evacuated from Cheadle Hall Monday. Click to view larger
UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang was among the people evacuated from Cheadle Hall Monday.  (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

UCSB police officials were handling the incident, and the Santa Barbara Countyt Sheriff's Department is also responded to the scene, Foulsham said. 

University officials sent a follow-up emergency alert at 4:52 p.m. Monday urging people to stay away from the Cheadle Hall building and surrounding area while emergency responders are at the scene.

Federal resources, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were called in to assist in the investigation, according to UCSB. 

Classes start Thursday for the fall quarter at UCSB. 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Hazardous materials teams from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded to UCSB Monday afternoon following a report that an envelope full of a white powdery substance had been discovered on the fifth floor of Cheadle Hall. The report turned out to be unfounded. Click to view larger
Hazardous materials teams from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded to UCSB Monday afternoon following a report that an envelope full of a white powdery substance had been discovered on the fifth floor of Cheadle Hall. The report turned out to be unfounded. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

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