Veterans Affairs building evacuated after white powder found

The Veterans Affairs Regional Office in an Atlanta suburb was evacuated on Monday after a white, powdery substance turned up in a package at the building, officials said.

"Fire (officials) tested the substance but could not determine its nature," said Janet Ward, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta Fire Department. She said the substance had been turned over to the Georgia Department of Health for testing.

The Atlanta office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported to local media that the scene had been cleared and no threat had been identified. An FBI spokesman in Atlanta was not available for comment.

The incident occurred three days after the Atlanta Fire Department's hazardous materials team responded to a report of a powdery substance at a federal building in downtown Atlanta. Ward had no further information about that incident.

The Veterans Affairs Regional Office building administers non-medical benefits to veterans and does not house the local VA hospital.

Also on Monday, at Jacksonville International Airport about 180 miles southeast of Atlanta, some ground traffic was diverted while authorities investigated a suspicious powder found in the arrivals area, airport spokeswoman Debbie Jones said.

The substance was later determined to be non-toxic, Jones said.

The airport continued normal operations during the investigation, but motorists picking up arriving passengers were directed to a different part of the airport after the substance was discovered around 3 p.m. local time, Jones said.