Suspicious package leads to evacuation of Ontario post office

An unidentified and suspicious looking package prompted an emergency evacuation of the Timmins Post Office in Timmins, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday shortly after 4 p.m.

The Timmins Fire Department and the Timmins Police Service arrived on the scene after the package was reported. The building, which is located on Birch Street South near Second Avenue, was evacuated and several employees gathered outside. Mike Pintar, the fire chief, and Gerry Sabourin, the deputy chief, were on hand to investigate the incident, the Timmins Times reports.

The emergency workers determined after approximately 15 minutes that the package was not hazardous. They left the scene of the incident at approximately 4:35 p.m.

A similar incident occurred on October 23, 2001, in the same city when a person sent a package to the Timmins Post Office that was labeled as containing spores of anthrax. The package was dusted with an unidentified powder. While the situation was a hoax, the package was treated as a potential hazard because of the highly infectious nature of the anthrax disease. Timmins firefighters used hazardous material suits to go into the post office and remove the package before the safety of the parcel was determined.

Pintar said on Wednesday that the workers at the post office were being cautious and alert during the unidentified package situation, the Timmins Times reports.