Swiss post office evacuated in mystery powder alert
ZURICH – A post office near the Swiss city of Zurich was evacuated on Tuesday after an unidentified substance was found in the building, with 20 people complaining of becoming ill, police said.
One of the 20 was hospitalised, but the substance was deemed to be inoffensive based on a preliminary investigation, police added in a statement.
Some 220 people were evacuated from the building in the Schlieren district north of Zurich.
The police were alerted after 8:15pm (1815 GMT) that two letters containing a white powder had caused an itching sensation for some employees.
Police, who had swiftly activated emergency measures, were investigating the cause of the incident.
At the height of the alert, some 20 police vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances were rushed to the scene at around midnight and the postal employees inside were taken away by the emergency services for checks.
The Muelligen postal centre, where the incident occurred, is the biggest in the country, and the only one to handle mail from abroad.
A spokesman for the postal service said that the distribution of post to the Zurich region would be affected on Wednesday as a result of the emergency procedures.AFP