Suspicious packages sent to embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra

Suspicious packages sent to embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra

Suspicious packages sent to embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra

Police and fire officials are investigating reports of multiple suspicious packages delivered to worldwide consulates in Melbourne and Canberra on Wednesday.

It is not known which embassies in Canberra have been affected.

"We are liaising closely with the AFP and the local authorities regarding the situation", the spokeswoman said.

The ministry said staff were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Public broadcaster ABC also reported that authorities had also found similar packages at the Melbourne consulates of the United States, the UK, Switzerland, Pakistan and New Zealand, and possibly also those of France, Greece, and Hong Kong.

VicEmergency says they are responding to hazardous material reports at Bourke St, Market St, Middleton Lane, Albert Rd, Queens Rd and St Kilda Rd.

"The circumstances surrounding the incidents are being investigated", said the Australian Federal Police.

Police did not identify any of the embassies or consulates involved.

Emergency services in Australia are responding to multiple reports of suspicious packages delivered to a number of embassies and consulates in Canberra and Melbourne.

Hazmat and fire crews are seen outside the Indian and French Consulates on St Kilda Road with evacuated workers on the street.

"It's believed to be non-hazardous, however, they're treating it as a hazardous", she said.

On the Emergency Victoria website, there have been more than 13 "hazardous material" alerts listed since 2pm.

The packages - which are still being examined but are not believed to be harmful - were delivered to facilities in the capital and several addresses across the southern Australian city, police confirmed.

Investigating officers at the U.S Consulate on St Kilda Road said the package had been found in the mail room. Inside were plastic sandwich bags containing a fibrous material.

The Swiss consulate in Melbourne was sent a small envelope containing a substance labelled "asbestos", said Peter Erb, the husband of honorary consul Manuela Erb.

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