A man picking up mail at the Carolina Forest post office reported Thursday afternoon he received a threatening letter that had white powder in it, so he took the letter and himself to Conway Medical Center, authorities said.
The post office was closed and evacuated around 2 p.m. as local emergency crews, state and federal officials arrived to investigate, Horry County police Lt. Raul Denis said.
“It’s a process of getting [the white powder substance] tested and it’s going to take a while,” Denis said.
No one else required treatment.
The patient’s vital signs were stable Thursday night, according to Julia Rajotte, Conway Medical Center spokeswoman.
“Vital signs continue to be stable and the patient is comfortable with no signs or symptoms of exposure to a hazardous material,” Rajotte said in a release. “The patient will continue to be monitored until all testing has been completed on the material he was exposed to.”
The man got the letter at the post office, opened it and said it was threatening and the envelope had a white powder substance inside, Denis said. The person left the envelope at the post office and got into his vehicle and drove to the hospital.
He told workers at the hospital registration desk he had been exposed to something, Rajotte said. He was admitted, decontaminated and isolated.
An exam found no visible symptoms and he was listed in stable condition, Rajotte said. No other patients were at risk.
Police and firefighters from Conway and Horry County responded to the hospital and Rajotte said the area from the north tower of the hospital to the emergency room to the ambulance and patient services entrances were blocked for traffic. S.C. State Law Enforcement Division officers also responded.
Emergency and ambulances coming to the hospital were diverted to the north tower, she said. The ambulances were diverted from the hospital until crews completed substance testing because the ambulance entrance is close to the decontamination staging area, Rajotte said.
A portion of Postal Way, off Carolina Forest Boulevard, was blocked temporarily while emergency crews investigated.
Authorities at the post office contained the scene and evaluated those exposed to the envelope, Denis said. State and federal officials arrived to help manage the incident while local emergency hazardous materials officials contained the situation.
Claire Byun contributed to this story.