US NEWS

Poisonous package addressed to Donald Trump intercepted by security

According to a breaking report in the US, the suspicious package contained the toxic substance ricin, which can cause death, but did not reach the White House.

La Policía de Estados Unidos intercepta un paquete con veneno dirigido a Trump
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI AFP

It is being reported in the US that a package containing ricin, a highly toxic compound, was intercepted by law enforcement agents en route to President Donald Trump.

Poisonous Trump package intercepted

According to CNN, citing two officials, two test have been carried out to confirm the presence of the poison, and an investigation has begun into the situation by the FBI and Secret Service. The package was addressed to the US President.

All mail into the White House is checked at an off-site facility to, among other reasons, prevent any dangerous packages like this entering the building.

US President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at Bemidji Regional Airport in Bemidji, Minnesota

What is ricin?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following information about ricin:

Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans. If castor beans are chewed and swallowed, the released ricin can cause injury. Ricin can be made from the waste material left over from processing castor beans. It can be in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid. It is a stable substance under normal conditions, but can be inactivated by heat above 80 degrees centigrade (176 degrees Fahrenheit).

Ricin works by getting inside the cells of a person’s body and preventing the cells from making the proteins they need. Without the proteins, cells die. Eventually this is harmful to the whole body, and death may occur. Effects of ricin poisoning depend on whether ricin was inhaled, ingested, or injected.

More to follow on this story as it breaks…