FBI finds anthrax in newspaper copy machines
FBI investigators say photocopy machines were the reason anthrax spores spread so far and so quickly in a newspaper office where a tainted letter was mailed in last year’s attacks. As reported by the Associated Press, federal investigators found spores in all the copy machines in the three-story, 68,000 square foot building. The investigators returned to the building for 12 days armed with new tools and techniques for detecting anthrax. Investigators said they believe the spores spread from the first-floor mail room where the letter was opened, onto reams of nearby copy paper. When that paper was later loaded into copy machines, the anthrax spread both on the sheets of paper and through the air, blown by the copy machines’ internal fans. National Enquirer photo editor Robert Stevens died from anthrax in October, the first of five people to die nationwide in the mailings. A mailroom employee was hospitalized with anthrax but survived.