January 09, 2019
Hazardous material vans have been sent to consulates in the two Australian cities after they received suspicious packages.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade in Melbourne sent units to reports of ‘hazardous material’
By Alix Culbertson, news reporter
Suspicious packages have been delivered to the British Consulate and other embassies in Melbourne and Canberra, Australian police say.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said Australian Federal Police are “dealing” with a report of a suspicious package at the British Consulate General in Melbourne.
A spokesman for the US Consulate in Melbourne also confirmed they had received a package which local authorities are investigating.
Similar parcels have reportedly been delivered to consulates and embassies of the United States, Germany, India, New Zealand, Korea, Greece, Egypt and Switzerland in Melbourne.
Consulates in the Australian capital of Canberra also received the packages, police said.
A number of consulates have been evacuated in Melbourne.
Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) has sent vans to reports of “hazardous material” at 16 sites, according to the Vic Emergency website.
A spokeswoman for the service said: “We are assisting the Australian Federal Police right now with a number of incidents across Melbourne.
“We are assisting at a number of embassies across Melbourne.”
An Australian Federal Police spokesman said: “Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to Embassies and Consulates in Canberra and Melbourne today.
“The circumstances surrounding the incidents are being investigated.”
Paramedics and firefighters wearing hazmat suits were seen entering the Korean embassy, while fire engines were seen outside several consulates.
The foreign consulates are based mainly in St Kilda Road and the city centre.
A spokeswoman for the British Consulate said: “We are liaising closely with the AFP (Australian Federal Police) and the local authorities regarding the situation.
“All our staff are safe and accounted for.”
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 packages are being examined by attending emergency services.
– Sky News