Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Australia police examining suspicious packages at 10 consulates

Australia police examining suspicious packages at 10 consulates

Emergency Victoria issued eight "Hazardous Material" alerts listed within 30 minutes, with workers reportedly evacuated across the city shortly after substances were discovered.

Suspicious packages have been delivered to the British Consulate and other embassies in Melbourne and Canberra, Australian police said.

Officials at the US and British consulates separately confirmed suspicious packages had been received.

The Indian High Commission is located in Canberra; there were no immediate reports of the high commission being among the locations that received suspicious packages.

A fire fighter is seen carrying a hazardous material bag into the Korean consulate in Melbourne.

Police in Australia said on Wednesday they are investigating several suspicious packages sent to embassies and consulates, which media reports and other officials said included the US and British missions, in the cities of Melbourne and Canberra.

Police, fire crews and ambulances were seen at a number of diplomatic offices in Melbourne, including those of India, Germany, Italy, Spain and South Korea. It is unclear what embassies in Canberra were affected.

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A spokeswoman for the Australian Federal Police said: "Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies and consulates in Melbourne today. The circumstances surrounding the incidents are being investigated".

The official said she was told by the authorities to wash her hands.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) said it was assisting police.

The Vic Emergency website lists more than 10 "hazardous material" events occurring across Melbourne, which began unfolding from about 1pm.

"We are liaising closely with the [Australian Federal Police] and the local authorities regarding the situation", a spokesperson said.

Manuela Erb, the honorary consul of the Consulate of Switzerland in Melbourne, told the ABC that they had received a suspicious package at their Ashwood address.

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