Biden`s kin hospitalized after anthrax mail scare

Neither the law enforcement authorities nor Joe Biden`s brother would say where in India this package was mailed from.

Washington: Francis Biden, the younger brother of US Vice President Joe Biden, was hospitalised after he opened a package from India containing a white powder that was initially thought to be anthrax, a media report said.

Francis Biden, 57, was at his Ocean Ridge home in Florida Saturday when he opened the envelope that was addressed to him, the NBC Miami reported.

A suspicious white powder spilled into his skin after he opened it. He and his girlfriend Mindy were rushed to the Bethesda Memorial Hospital where he was held overnight for tests, the report said.

"I was the only one who came in contact with the powder so they kept me," he told the Palm Beach Post. "I`m fine." His girlfriend was released same day.

"She (Mindy) retrieved the envelope but I was the one who opened it. It came from India," Britain`s Daily Mail quoted Biden as saying.

Biden said he immediately called authorities, who evacuated neighbors and closed the street.

The FBI said the contents of the package "were deemed not to be threatening in nature" based on preliminary tests.

Frank Biden is the president of a real-estate development and consulting firm based in Florida.

In late 2001, anthrax mailings rattled an already jittery American public just days after al Qaeda militants hijacked passenger jets and plunged them into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, killing almost 3,000 people.

IANS

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