HOUSTON – Two people were hospitalized Tuesday after they were exposed to a white, powdery substance found in an item that was mailed to the Houston campaign office of Sen. Ted Cruz.
The incident was reported about noon at the Phoenix Tower, at 3200 Southwest Freeway, in Houston’s Greenway neighborhood.
Officials said the people complained of nausea and tingling before they were taken to a hospital.
Firefighters said tests of the powder were negative for any hazardous substance.
People were briefly evacuated from the ninth floor of the building where the package was opened.
"It seemed like we weren't at risk of being exposed to whatever it was," said Nathan Milsaps, who works on the 21st floor where he sheltered in place.
Houston police said the FBI is taking over the investigation. The United States Postal Service is also investigating.
Cruz’s spokeswoman, Christine Frazier, confirmed that the item was mailed to the office but would not provide any other details about the nature of the item.
Frazier told the Associated Press that no one from the campaign staff was affected.
The Republican party Chairman James Dickey released the following statement:
“We are thankful that those who were exposed to the powder have tested negative for any hazardous substance. We look forward to finding out more details as they become available.”
In 2016, a mysterious substance was sent to Sen. Cruz's office. Authorities determined it was soap.
HPD: initial HFD testing of substance found in letter sent to Phoenix Tower where Sen. Ted Cruz has campaign office came back "negative". Would not elaborate. FBI now taking over investigation. 2 people taken to hospital for nausea and tingling feeling. @kprc2 pic.twitter.com/q5mePcXfre— Syan Rhodes (@KPRC2Syan) October 2, 2018
#BREAKING: 2 people hospitalized after apparently being exposed to a white powdery substance in the Phoenix Tower on the Southwest Freeway and Buffalo Speedway. 9th floor evacuated. Senator Ted Cruz’s offices are in this building. @KPRC2 #kprc2 pic.twitter.com/IDYGYzof4I— KPRC Cathy Hernandez (@KPRC2Cathy) October 2, 2018