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Mail Scare

Zondervan employees evacuate after receiving suspicious package.

Two employees at Zondervan publishing company in Cascade Township, Michigan became ill after opening a suspicious package in the mailroom. Douglas Lockhart, Zondervan's president and CEO, said that a powdery material had leaked from the package. The two employees experienced upper respiratory problems, including coughing and difficulty breathing, according to WOOD TV8 reports.

Zondervan contacted the fire department at 11:49 a.m. One employee, Carolyn Weidmayer, was rushed to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, while the other sick worker was treated on-site.

The Kent County fire department and sheriff's department, as well as the Grand Rapids hazardous materials unit, rushed to the scene. Employees were sent across the street to the Krispy Kreme headquarters for possible treatment, reporter Patrick Center announced in a live WOOD TV8 broadcast.

Emergency workers removed the suspicious package from the scene for testing and analysis, said Vicki Cessna, a spokesperson for Zondervan.

After employees were evacuated from the building, the hazardous materials unit completed a thorough inspection of the premises.

No hazardous materials were found inside the package, and at around 2:40 p.m., building was cleared, Cessna said.

Cessna told Christianity Today that employees were allowed to return home for the day. They will be back Tuesday, and the office will be open for regular business hours.

According to a Spectrum-Butterworth Hospital operator, Weidmayer was discharged from the hospital in stable condition less than three hours after being admitted.

Zondervan publishes Bibles and other Christian materials that are sold in more than 60 countries worldwide. It has a team of more than 360 employees.

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