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Cocaine found at White House sparked evacuation, US media report

A white substance that sparked an emergency evacuation at the White House on Sunday night has tested positive for cocaine, US media reported.

The substance was found in a work area at the secure building during a routine inspection, the US Secret Service said.

The preliminary positive test was reported by the Washington Post and AP News, citing law enforcement sources.

President Joe Biden and his family were away at the Camp David residence when the substance was found.

The White House complex was closed as a precaution around 20:45 local time (01:45 BST) on Sunday after Secret Service officers found the white powder "inside a work area" of the West Wing, Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told the BBC in a statement.

Mr Guglielmi said the fire department was quickly called and found the substance to be "non-hazardous".

He did not confirm the preliminary test results, saying the item has been sent for additional testing and that an investigation is ongoing, including on how the substance entered the White House.

The West Wing is a large, multi-level part of the White House that contains the offices of the president of the United States, including the Oval Office and the Situation Room.

It also houses the offices of the vice-president, the White House chief of staff, the press secretary, and hundreds of other staff who have access.