White powder found in Bellmont Hall tests negative for threat


According to UTPD spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon, the "mysterious white powder" found strewn over the floor of an elevator in Bellmont hall tested negative for "any threat or concern."

"Sometime around 11 this morning UTPD received a report that there was 'white powder' all over an elevator in Bellmont," Weldon said. 

Weldon said there is an abundance of construction taking place around the area surrounding Bellmont, and said police believe this to be the source of the powder. 

"Out of an abundance of caution, [police] secured the elevator and contacted Enviornmental, Health and Safety to come test the material," Weldon said. "There was no evacuation associated with the investigation. Bellmont was not closed despite a media rumor that it would be. Police just secured the elevators." 

Weldon said the EHS tests came back negative. The elevator was cleaned and returned to normal operations at approximately 12:30 pm. 

In an email, UTPD chief of police Robert Dahlstrom said "[UTPD] cleared the scene. The powder tested negative. It was tested by EH&S." 

When asked if UTPD's response was in any way prompted by the recent Ricin scares in Washington, Weldon said UTPD has been accustomed to responding to "white powder" reports. 

"Actually, we're used to dealing with these. We received a lot of them throughout the 2000s," Weldon said.