Five Nantucket post office employees were sent to a hospital Monday morning after they discovered a package with white powder, Nantucket police said.
A couple workers complained of itchy skin after they were near the white powder around 8:53 a.m. at the US Post Office at 155 Old South Road, according to Steve Doherty, a spokesman for the United States Postal Service in Massachusetts, and a statement from Nantucket police.
“It was in a sack full of packages. When they dumped the sack out into a hamper, white powder fell on the packages. It came from one package, but there were multiple packages with powder on them,” Doherty said.
Five employees were taken to Nantucket Cottage Hospital as a precaution and released, said Nantucket Police Lieutenant Angus MacVicar.
The post office was evacuated and closed until 2:45 p.m. as a hazmat team from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services investigated, according to police and Doherty.
“There was no threat to the public. There was nothing nefarious about it. It was a legal medication being shipped,” said Jennifer Mieth, a DFS spokeswoman.
USPS officials said the package with the powder came from a mail processing facility in Providence, RI. But they did not know what the powder was or where the package originated, Doherty said.
Nantucket firefighters, Masssachusetts State Police, and the United States Postal Inspection Service also responded to the scene, State Police said.
Nantucket residents can expect delayed mail delivery Monday because of the incident, Doherty said.