*Update: Joanna Lambert, an American Express spokeswoman, says they’ve been advised that there’s no reason to evacuate the building and that business operations are continuing as usual.
The 39th, 40th and 51st floors are all American Express staffers.
Three floors of the American Express Tower in the World Financial centre were evacuated after several envelopes with a white powder were delivered. It’s not clear at this point whether this is actual weaponised anthrax or just a scare.
Here is the memo just circulated to workers in the building:
This afternoon several suspicious envelopes containing a white powdery substance were delivered to American Express Tower in New York.
We immediately contacted the health and safety authorities, who are now in the building and investigating the incident. They are currently examining the envelopes and following all the appropriate protocols. A few small areas in the immediate vicinity of where the envelopes were received have been quarantined while the investigation takes place. In addition, as an extra precaution, the floors where the envelopes were delivered — the 39th, 40th and 51st floors — have been evacuated and the building’s HVAC system has been turned off. The Emergency Services and Hazmat Unit of the NYPD, which specialises in these matters, has advised us that under these circumstances there is no need to evacuate the rest of the building. We will provide an update when more information becomes available.