Welcome to eTenet
Services & Specialties
Events Calendar
Physician Finder
What's New
About Us
Wound Care Center
Digestive Health Institute
& Heartburn Center
Cancer Center
Center for Bloodless
Medicine & Surgery

Health Centers
Life Issues
Exercise & Fitness
Cool Tools
Test Your Health

Tenet Healthcare Corp.
General Information
Your Health
Join Tenet
Privacy Pledge

Today's Health News

English cathedral evacuated after white powder found; anthrax jitters felt worldwide

October 15, 2001

CANTERBURY, England (AP) - Several hundred people were evacuated from Canterbury Cathedral Sunday in one of a rash of scares around the world sparked by the discovery of white powder.

Church staff began evacuating the cathedral - the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual head of the Church of England - around 1 p.m. (1200 GMT), after a worker said he saw a man dropping a white powder in one of its chapels.

Emergency workers wearing chemical protection suits cleared up the powder and took samples for analysis, Kent Police said. Paramedics were also on the scene.

It was not immediately clear what the substance was, and police said they planned to keep the cathedral closed until they could identify it.

Several hundred visitors were inside the cathedral in this southeastern English town when the evacuation began, but no services were underway.

Jitters about bioterrorism and other forms of attack have spread since anthrax cases were confirmed this week in Florida, New York and Nevada.

"We are taking every precaution at this stage and so we have sent in firefighters with protective suits," said a fire department spokeswoman, speaking on traditional condition of anonymity. "It is still too early to say exactly what the powder is."

Among other scares and anti-bioterror measures taken Sunday:

- Cleaning staff at Rio de Janeiro's International Airport in Brazil found white powder on a flight from Frankfurt after passengers left the plane, federal police and health authorities said. Scientists were analyzing the substance, and the 12-member cleaning staff that found it was isolated in a room at the airport.

- In Toronto, authorities stopped a plane at Pearson International Airport when baggage handlers found white powder in the cargo hold. Test results were expected by Monday afternoon, but police said they didn't think the substance was dangerous.

- Belgian Health Minister Magda Aelvoet said preliminary tests showed a powder found in six confiscated letters was not anthrax. The letters were addressed to the Belgian Pharmaceutical Institute and several of its employees; the postal service seized them after finding the powder. Aelvoet said it was likely a prank.

- German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping said the military was going over its defenses against biological and chemical weapons, and leaders called for increased sentences for anyone caught sending copycat anthrax letters. Scharping assured Germans the military was capable of defending itself from biological and chemical warfare.

- Major newspapers in two Australian states on Sunday began toughening and reviewing security, particularly mail handling procedures.

Number of people exposed to anthrax jumps to a dozen amid fears of bioterrorism

Russian health authorities offer assistance in combating anthrax

An Experimental Device Gives Disabled Man Hope

English cathedral evacuated after white powder found; anthrax jitters felt worldwide

Red Cross says it's 'improbable' Afghan laboratory could be used to create deadly anthrax

Malaysian government vows full weight of the law in anthrax probe

Anthrax from animals struck North Carolina textile workers in 1956 outbreak

Leaders of journalism groups decry excessive security put in place since terrorist attacks

Therapist says laughter is liberating; laughter clubs proliferate in tense times

Nobel laureates' startup seeks to restore fading memories

Federal study will try smaller dose of smallpox vaccine to stretch limited stockpile

FDA says new contact lens wearable for 30 straight days, but some caution needed

Skin form of anthrax like that at NBC News is easy to treat and rarely kills

Hawaii's dengue fever count rises to 48