FBI probes suspicious powder at Super Bowl hotels

NEW YORK (AFP) - The FBI and US police officers were investigating Friday suspicious powder sent by mail to at least five hotels near the stadium hosting Sunday's Super Bowl, officials said.

The FBI confirmed that its joint terrorism task force and hazard materials units had responded to "several locations" that received a "suspicious letter and substance." "This situation is being thoroughly investigated and more information will be provided when it becomes available," said spokeswoman Barbara Woodruff.

Detective John Cleary from Carlstadt police told AFP there were at least five locations and five letters "in close proximity" to the stadium in East Rutherford where 80,000 people are expected to watch Sunday's football final, the biggest US sporting event.

The detective said local police received a first call at around 11:30 am from the Econo Lodge on Washington Avenue in Carlstadt after hotel staff were opening letters.

"When they were opening their mail, one of the envelopes contained powder that came out of the envelope," he told AFP.

He described the envelope as a "typical, standard-size white envelope" but said he had not personally seen the others.

The Homestead Hotel and the Renaissance Hotel in Rutherford received similar letters as well, Cleary said.

Two more similar letters sent to the Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn in Carlstadt were intercepted in the mail, he added.

Officials said they were not aware of any injuries.

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