WILKES-BARRE — The suspicious package that caused a scare and evacuation of federal offices at the Stegmaier Building Thursday contained a bottle of a blackcurrant-based beverage popular in the United Kingdom.
“It’s a juice, Ribena,” said Colleen Connolly, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Northeast Regional Office.
An opened and marked bottle of the purple drink was contained in a brown paper bag with dirt in it that was delivered to the mailroom. Authorities were contacted about the suspicious package and that lead to the evacuation of approximately 350 people and the quarantining of five others in the mailroom for approximately four hours.
A preliminary test on scene determined the liquid was harmless and had the make up of gluconic acid found in sugary drinks and wine, Connolly said. Once the tests showed there was no danger, the employees were allowed back into the building.
Connolly said the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are investigating the case.
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Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott