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  Anthrax Found on Postal Equipment

By Shannon Dininny
Associated Press Writer
Thursday, Nov. 1, 2001; 9:05 a.m. EST

INDIANAPOLIS –– Workers at a private postal maintenance center were given antibiotics after anthrax was found on equipment sent from a contaminated mail-processing center in Trenton, N.J.

A small number of spores was found on a printer, which was among several items sent to DDD Co.'s Critical Parts Center, said Peter Beering, terrorism preparedness coordinator for Indianapolis and Marion County.

In Kansas City, Mo., meanwhile, preliminary tests Wednesday indicated traces of anthrax at a specialized postal facility there, but no employees have become ill and there was no apparent risk to the public, health and postal officials said.

The anthrax found in Indianapolis was limited to one piece of equipment and no sign of infection was found among the 103 workers at the facility, Gov. Frank O'Bannon said Wednesday.

"At this level of exposure, anthrax is not a threat to human health in Indiana," he said.

The Trenton site handled anthrax-tainted letters mailed to New York and Washington. Two postal workers at the New Jersey facility have the dangerous inhaled form of anthrax.

Investigators in Indianapolis were trying to find the box in which the printer was shipped to determine if it was contaminated with anthrax, Beering said.

The test of the printer was the only one that turned out positive for anthrax among 44 conducted on items shipped to the Critical Parts Center.

In Missouri, the positive test results came from swabs on two bags of employees' trash in the first-day cancellation section of the Stamp Fulfillment Services Center, which is housed in an underground complex.

The source of the suspected anthrax was thought to be a shipment of mail that arrived at the cancellation section Oct. 19 from the Brentwood postal facility in Washington, D.C., according to manager Gary Stone.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

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