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The Missoula Police Department and the University of Montana police reported late Wednesday evening that they are investigating a report of a small amount of potassium cyanide, which is toxic, removed from a university research laboratory.

The material is a white powder, occupying less than half the volume of a clear glass vial with a white lid. It was possibly discarded in the area somewhere within the confines of Orange Street to Hickory and Craig Lane to South Sixth Street West, according to a joint release from the University of Montana police and the Missoula police.

The release said it wasn't certain whether the vial had been discarded, but that if it had been, it might be in that area. However, officers checking the area did not find it.

Law enforcement issued the alert to warn residents and others who might be in the area. If the vial is found, contact 911 immediately and do not handle it, police said. 

A joint investigation by the Missoula and UM police continues, and additional information will be shared as it becomes available.

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