A running group is behind the white suspicious substance—later discovered to be flour—that shut down an entire block of Birmingham for several hours this week.
The group "Vulcan Hash House Harriers" uses flour to mark their running trails in the city.
Christopher Robinson runs with the group and says he and the other runners were worried about the situation on Wednesday morning.
When they heard about the suspicious white powder found in that area, they immediately knew it was their trail of flour.
Robinson says members go out and put something on the ground to create a path or trail for the runners to follow. They have put down chalk, toilet paper and, of course, flour..
Tuesday night, a three-mile flour trail was created downtown and runners ran the trail.
And then on Wednesday, the powder was discovered by someone on 2nd Avenue North. Authorities considered it suspicious.
The Birmingham Fire department along with hazardous materials crews were called to the scene...and it was later determined to be flour.
Robinson says the group has been doing this for 10 years in Birmingham and it's the first time it's caused something like this to happen.
He says he's sorry about the big scare.
"The big question became, how do we respond to this? None of us are out to scare or cause any disturbance," Robinson said.
"We feel the more people know about hashing when they see these little white flour marks are more likely to assume it's flour instead of immediately calling Hazmat or something like that," he said.
Robinson says some of the runners were concerned about whether the city would hold them responsible for the waste of resources and tax dollars.
Lt. Sean Edwards with Birmingham PD says officials are not investigating the group for anything related to this incident.
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