On Monday the White House was temporarily evacuated following a suspicious package containing a white powder being discovered on the premises. Following testing the powder was found to be positive for cocaine hydrochloride, an illegal drug that is highly addictive.
The U.S. Secret Service in a statement noted that the “unknown item” had been found on the premises and that following its discovery they had taken precautionary measures and evacuated the area. The Secret Service is primarily responsible for the security of both the president and the White House. They further noted that the DC Fire Departments Hazmat team responded to the scene.
There has so far been no information regarding the exact location in which the item was found or who might have been responsible for who had left the package. They also did not reveal how much cocaine had been detected or if the item had posed any threat to the president or the White House staff.
Many areas around the White House, including the Ellipse, Lafayette Park, 17th Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue had been affected by the evacuation. Many roads were also closed off causing traffic disruptions across the downtown area.
Eyewitnesses also noted that they had seen people in hazmat suits entering the West Wing of the White House. That is the area of the complex that includes the president’s office and residence. It is not yet clear if the president was in the building at the time, or if he had been informed about the situation that unfolded.