Concord federal courthouse evacuated after powder found – no perceived threat to public safety

By Monitor staff

Published: 01-31-2023 2:26 PM

The federal courthouse on Pleasant Street was evacuated Tuesday morning after a white powder was found in one of the courtrooms.

As of 1 p.m., employees had not been given clearance to return to the Warren B. Rudman Courthouse. Parts of Pleasant Street were initially closed to traffic as hazmat and bomb squad teams investigated but roadways have since been reopened. 

Many staff members were sent to the nearby Christa McAuliffe School to await the decision. 

“We have people all over,” said U.S. District Clerk Daniel Lynch. 

The alert was called at 8:11 a.m. after a container was found in one courtroom and determined to hold a powdery substance. The Concord fire and police departments in conjunction with the New Hampshire State Police responded to the scene to evacuate and assist federal officers. 

Court officials found “an unattended item with an unknown substance that warranted a hazmat response in an abundance of caution," Kristen Setera of the FBI said in a statement.

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She said while the investigation is ongoing, “there is not believed to be any associated threat to public safety at this time."

The incident remains under investigation by th e U.S. Marshal Service and the FBI. 

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.