Police: Baking soda shut down traffic on East Bay

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Twenty people were quarantined inside the Historic Charleston Foundation on East Bay Street and traffic was shut down for several hours Monday for a bag of baking soda.

According to a police report, a letter marked "return to sender" was received in the mail, addressed to someone in Helsinki, Finland. The return address was 40 East Bay Street.

Police say the person who opened the envelope found several cards advertising tourist attractions in Charleston and a folded stack of copier paper with the plastic bag of white powder inside.

Officials said the white, powdery material found around 8 a.m. Monday was not explosive, but it took hours to test the powder before HazMat crews could clear the quarantined people.

Fire officials blocked off a section of East Bay Street Monday morning in response the suspicious package.

Crews blocked off East Bay Street between Water Street and Longitude Lane. Runners and cars were rerouted from Water to Tradd streets while crews tested the white powder.

Around 12:15 p.m. it was found that the powder was just baking soda. It is not known who sent the envelope.



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