Consulates in Melbourne and Canberra evacuated over 'suspicious package'

Consulates in Melbourne and Canberra evacuated over 'suspicious package'

Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies in Melbourne today (Wednesday, 9 January 2019).

The government Vic Emergency website noted at least 10 "hazardous material" incidents in the city.

At least seven of the affected Melbourne consulates have been evacuated.

"The packages are being examined by attending emergency services", the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a short statement without providing further details.

A spokesman for the US Consulate in Melbourne also confirmed they had received a package which local authorities are investigating.

Sky reported that the scare coincided with the U.S. embassy's hazmat training, which had been booked for months. The various consulates were evacuated, police confirmed.

All of the incidents that matched the addresses of consulates in Melbourne were declared under control.

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Emergency services in Australia are responding to multiple reports of suspicious packages delivered to a number of embassies and consulates in Canberra and Melbourne. "The circumstances are being investigated", Australian Federal Police tweeted.

There is also a warning listed in Ashwood, where the Swiss consulate is located.

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

Workers are being evacuated across town, with the embassies impacted believed to include the American, British, Indian, Italian, New Zealand, Korean, Egyptian, Pakistani, Greek, Danish, Spanish, Japanese, Thai and German consulates after hazardous materials were discovered just before 2pm.

Photos put up by a journalist on Twitter showed Indian consulate staff sitting on a sidewalk outside their office while emergency service vehicles stood nearby.

The packages are reported to have been marked as containing asbestos.

The NZ consulate was one of at least seven global consulates evacuated after multiple suspicious packages were found, in what officials labelled a "hazardous material" event.

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