UCI Employees Receive ‘Black Death’ Envelopes

IRVINE, Calif.

Five University of California, Irvine, employees have been targeted in a bizarre string of mailings involving an unknown white powder. The envelopes, all marked ‘Black Death,’ were sent from Idaho.

All but one of the letters, which were distributed over the Christmas holiday, were sent to women at the campus, reports the Orange County Register.Fire, hazmat, public health and law enforcement officials responded to reports of the substance on campus. The white powder was determined to be harmless, yet remains unidentified.

The first two letters were opened on Jan. 4 by sociologist Cynthia Feliciano and chemical engineer Nancy Da Silva. An assistant dean in the School of Biological Sciences and an undergraduate counselor in the Information and Computer Sciences building opened two more letters on Jan. 5. The fifth letter, sent to a male associate professor of the arts on Jan. 6, was not opened but instead was sent to laboratory for testing.

According to KTLA.com, authorities secured the building where the fifth letter was found and initial tests did not indicate any biological hazards.

As a precaution, the university is screening all incoming mail and looking for a connection between the employees who received the mail. No other UC campuses have reported receiving similar mail.

For additional information, click here.

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