The staff of The Wall Street Journal, the offices of which are located on the ninth to twelfth floors of the World Financial Center, just got the following e-mail:
We received a suspicious package at World Financial Center. While we don’t think there is cause for alarm at this time, we are asking everyone not to open any mail while we investigate. Please notify Security at x2340 if you think any envelope or package you received seems suspicious.
As of right now, security is not allowing anyone in or out of the ninth or tenth floors, and rumor has it the eleventh floor, which is where Rupert Murdoch's office is located, is being evacuated. Developing.
UPDATE 1: The Journal's website says the paper received "at least 10 envelopes containing an unknown white powder ... addressed to several New York–based executives at the News Corp.–owned newspaper. Some of the envelopes are being held in the mailroom of the Journal's Lower Manhattan headquarters, while others have been distributed throughout the building." Police and a Hazmat crew are investigating. Could it be the same person that sent the Times baby powder this past fall?
UPDATE 2, 12:30: The 9th floor newsroom is evacuating, and rumor has it, the Brussels office may take over news publishing, as they do at night and during 9/11.
UPDATE 3, 12:55: Employees remaining on the 10th and 12th floors are hot and sticky, since the air conditioning was turned off soon after the event was reported. They have been told to hang tight.
Authorities are investigating suspicious packages delivered to our World Financial Center offices. As a precaution, the 9th and 11th floors have been evacuated while police and other safety personnel assess any potential hazard. Elevators are closed on those floors, requiring transit by emergency stairs.
All employees in World Financial Center should follow the instructions of emergency personnel while standing by for further instructions from their managers regarding work.
We will advise you as soon as possible of any updated information or instructions.
Meanwhile, the Geithner hearing is STILL going on.
UPDATE, 1:50 p.m: No Anthrax Day for Journal editors. Those charged with producing tomorrow's paper are hard at work on the 12th floor. Meanwhile, employees of MarketWatch, Barron’s, Newswires get to go home.
Sayeth a staffwide email:
Staff required for news products or for other critical functions should await further instructions. Space has been secured for you at the Marriott World Financial Center immediately across West Street while wait. Go to the Financial Ballroom on the second floor where seats are available and coffee and sandwiches will be served.
Sandwiches! Nice. The staff from the Journal, meanwhile, is making do with the bagels and croissants left over from the deli on their floor.
UPDATE, 4:20 p.m. Journal spokesman Robert Christie tells the Times that the paper received a dozen envelopes, but wouldn't say to whom. Journal employees told the paper that the targeted included managing editor Robert Thomson; editorial page editor Paul Gigot, and Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton. Their assistants, apparently, were the ones who opened the envelopes, and now they, along with two other people, are being "decontaminated." Being an assistant sucks.