Montana Capital evacuated over suspicious package

HELENA, Mont. (AP) _ The Montana Capitol was evacuated Wednesday after the governor's letter handler reported receiving a suspicious package from an anonymous sender, authorities said. Fire trucks were parked in front of the building, and security officers guided employees outside before closing off the entrances with yellow tape.

Helena police and Capitol security told state workers to leave for the rest of the day. It was not immediately clear how many people were inside the building. Gov. Steve Bullock's letter handler opened a package that contained a piece of cloth wrapped in tape, Capt. Brian Roberts of the Helena Fire Department said. There were no explosives inside, he said.

Authorities quarantined the letter handler while they test the package for illicit substances. The tests continued into the evening, and Helena Fire Marshal Craig Trapp said he did not know how long it would take to complete them.

The Capitol houses the governor's office, the secretary of state and legislative staffers. The governor was not in the building at the time the letter arrived, Trapp said. The Legislature is not in session and no interim committees were scheduled to meet Wednesday.