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4 people treated at hospital after suspicious package found at Capitol office building

The Washington National Guard 10th civil support team is investigating a suspicious substance that was found by a state worker on the Capitol Campus Monday morning.
The Washington National Guard 10th civil support team is investigating a suspicious substance that was found by a state worker on the Capitol Campus Monday morning. Courtesy

Four people who were sent to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia after a suspicious substance was found in a package on the Capitol Campus Monday morning have been released, according to a Washington State Patrol spokesman.

The package has been sent to the Washington Army National Guard’s Camp Murray to be tested, state patrol spokesman John Shaffer said. Test results were expected Monday night, but if they are not completed, the area where the package was found will remain closed, he said.

About 10 a.m. Monday, the package was discovered by a state worker going through the mail in the 1500 Jefferson Building, which is home to several state agencies.

The second floor of that building was evacuated. The Olympia Fire Department also responded to secure the building’s HVAC system. A state patrol SWAT team and the Washington National Guard 10th civil support team arrived to examine and retrieve the package, Shaffer said.

The woman who opened the package was wearing gloves, he said. After she noticed the substance, she went through a self-decontamination procedure, then was checked out by an Olympia fire crew. As a precautionary step, she was sent to the hospital, as were three other people, Shaffer said.

The suspicious package comes after weeks of bomb threats that had targeted the Capitol Campus and other state office buildings.

A suspect was identified last week.

Authorities believe Said Farzad, a former psychiatrist whose license was revoked in 2014, is tied to 18 cases in which threats were made, most recently to the Washington State Health Care Authority offices in Olympia and Department of Health campus in Tumwater, The Olympian reported Oct. 31.

Farzad has been out of the country since June, The Olympian reported.

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